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Building Codes for Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Hoods

Commercial kitchens, such as restaurants, delis, catering services, cafeterias, and any kitchen that serves food to customers, must follow a long list of specific building codes related to commercial ventilation hoods and proper kitchen exhaust. Failure to follow these many codes could result in violations, potential illness of workers or patrons, insurance problems and possible fires.

Ductwork Building Codes

There are specific codes related to the ductwork that is installed to direct the polluted air to the outdoors. The ducts must be made from 16 or 18 gauge stainless steel, and all seams must be welded liquid tight. There must be no protruding fasteners, such as screws, within the ductwork. In addition, proper access panels need to be installed. Typical recommendations for this are that access panels need to be at every turn in the ductwork and every 12 feet during straight sections.

Commercial Hood Size Codes

Codes related to commercial hoods state that the hood must be six inches wider on all sides than the entire cooking surface. Additionally, the proper type of commercial hood must be used. For any commercial kitchen that uses cooking appliances that produce greasy byproducts, a Type 1 hood must be used. This vent hood will draw in all heat, smoke, moisture, vapors, odors and grease particles. Kitchens that do not use cooking appliances that generate grease can use a Type 2 hood, which sucks in all the contaminants listed above, except for grease particles.

Filter Maintenance Codes

All commercial hoods must be equipped with baffles that will trap grease and contain it within a receptacle. Baffles and receptacles must be easily accessible and routinely removed for thorough cleaning.

Fire Suppression Systems

Finally, a fire suppression system must be installed in the commercial kitchen ventilation equipment. Commercial hoods typically come equipped with pre-installed nozzles that will discharge a wet chemical fire suppression compound to quickly extinguish the fire. The fire suppression system must be electrically connected to the fuel supply, so that any fuel source and power to the appliance is immediately cut off to quickly suppress the fire.

Building code officials and health inspectors routinely inspect restaurant and commercial kitchens to ensure compliance with all codes. Make sure you understand the codes and comply with them in order to prevent any violations.

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