How Many Access Doors Do I Need To Fit To My Kitchen Extract System?

Today the majority of catering establishments use canopy extraction systems within their kitchen areas to minimise the build up of heat, steam and grease emissions. Although the filters inside these canopy extractors are designed to act as the first line of defence against grease deposition, it is inevitable that smaller particles will pass through and congregate in the ductwork system. This is why regular kitchen extract ductwork cleaning is essential.

Poorly maintained kitchen extracts can cause significant hygiene and fire hazards in your kitchen.  

Cleaning your kitchen extract ductwork

If you fail to clean your kitchen extract ductwork on a regular basis, it could pose significant hygiene and fire risks and your insurance company may withdraw your insurance cover!

Although your kitchen extract should be fairly simple to clean, as it is easily accessible, the ductwork will usually be hidden above the ceiling and can pass through a number of walls and floors, making it difficult to tackle. This is why professional kitchen extract ductwork cleaning is recommended. Companies like Ductbusters have the skills, knowledge and equipment to carry out professional cleans to the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES) TR19 standard.

The frequency of kitchen extract ductwork cleaning will all depend on the number of hours per day that your kitchen is in operation. Obviously the more work that is carried out in the kitchen, the more often your ductwork will need cleaning in order to comply with Health & Safety obligations, as well as your insurance requirements.

Access to kitchen extract systems

As we mentioned before, the ductwork behind kitchen extract systems can be fairly trick to reach, why is why access doors are essential. If there is a fire in your kitchen and the investigators find that there were no access doors in the ductwork (making it impossible to clean) then you could be prosecuted for your negligence under the Health & Safety Act 2009.

According the Health and Safety Executive, there should be ‘suitable access to the ductwork, to allow regular cleaning to prevent accumulation of fat etc.’ BS 9999:2008 Clause 33.4.7 rules that access doors must be installed at three metre intervals where possible. The number of access doors you require will therefore depend on the layout of the ductwork and your kitchen.

All access doors must be made from the same material as the rest of the duct and should be the same thickness too. This will ensure they provide adequate protection against the spread of fires. Access doors must be manufactured and fitted in accordance with the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES). DW144 standard.

Kitchen extract ducting needs cleaning on a regular basis and therefore requires plenty of access doors.

Having your kitchen extract system inspected

The best way to determine whether you have enough access doors in your kitchen extract system (to reach the ductwork) is to have it professionally inspected. This is something our team at Ductbusters can carry out for you. If we believe that certain areas are currently inaccessible and therefore are posing a potential risk, we can install new access doors on your behalf.

Having new access doors will not only ensure that you are complying with Health and Safety standards but also make your ductwork easier to clean.


Scrimping on the cleaning of your kitchen extract system is not something you can afford to do. Not only can it endanger your staff but also have serious legal implications. We recommend that catering facilities have their kitchen extract system’s ductwork inspected by a professional company like Ductbusters to ensure that there are enough access doors for proper cleaning. Including your kitchen extract system in your maintenance plan can help to ensure that cleaning is carried out on a regular basis and hygiene and fire risks are reduced.


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