How Bad Can An Un-Cleaned Kitchen Extract System Get?

Whilst kitchen extract ductwork is out of sight, it should never be out of mind. Keeping it clean and well maintained is not only essential to maintaining good hygiene levels in your kitchen but also preventing serious fire hazards.

In the UK, you are legally required to remove deposits of grease, oil and fat from your ductwork on a regular basis. Failure to do so may jeopardise your building’s insurance and could result in prosecution for negligence.

Here we’ll take a look at how bad it can get if you don’t clean your kitchen extract system.

Hygiene problems

Un-cleaned kitchen extract systems are a breeding ground for bacteria and pests.

No matter how well you clean your kitchen surfaces, if you forget to clean your kitchen extract system, it is likely to result in poor hygiene problems. You see the accumulation of fat, oil and grease within your kitchen extract system will make the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and pests such as cockroaches, leading to serious health hazards.

These hazards will not only affect the people working in your kitchen but also your customers. If people get ill as a result of eating at your establishment and you are investigated by health inspectors, it is likely that your business will be closed down, at least until you have carried out significant changes.

Even then, you may find that it is difficult to entice customers back into your establishment, as you will have seriously damaged your business’s reputation. After all, who really wants to eat at a place known for poor hygiene?

Un-cleaned kitchen extract system ducting can cause fires.

Fire dangers

In around 25% of cases investigated by forensic fire investigators, the fires in professional kitchens are made significantly worse by poorly cleaned or unclean ductwork. The problem is that flames in the ductwork (caused by a build-up of grease), can quickly spread and often carry beyond the kitchen to elsewhere in the building and even other buildings in close proximity.

This not only puts people working in the building at risk but also those living close by.

No insurance payout

If you fail to clean and maintain your kitchen extract system and its ductwork, don’t expect your insurance company to payout in the event of a fire. If the fire investigators find that you did not clean your ductwork regularly or that there were not any access doors, making cleaning impossible, then this will be reported to your insurance company.

If your insurance company won’t payout, you will be required to raise funds to cover the cost of dire damage yourself. This is likely to be very expensive and could potentially result in you having to close your business permanently.


The situations caused by an un-cleaned kitchen extract system can get pretty bleak. In the event of a fire, if you are found to be negligent in keeping your kitchen extract system clean, you could be prosecuted under the Health and Safety Act. This is likely to result in a hefty fine but could be even worse if people are harmed as a result of your negligence.

Get your kitchen extract system professionally cleaned

All of these problems can easily be avoided by keeping your kitchen extract system clean. The good news is that compliance is fairly straightforward. All you need to do is keep your kitchen extract system spotless and ensure certified professionals like Ductbusters clean the ducting. This will go a long way in preventing hygiene and fire hazards and will give you some legal protection, should the worst happen, despite your best efforts.

Find out more information about kitchen extract system cleaning by getting in touch with Ductbusters today on 0800 085 0403.


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