The Importance of Access Panels

Whether it be a residential or commercial kitchen space, every kitchen is unique. Just as unique as the kitchen itself is the kitchen exhaust system. There are many variables that come into play when designing your exhaust system – space, frequency of use, foods being cooked (i.e. greasy foods), and more. One thing that is constant amongst all exhaust systems though is that they all need regular cleaning, for both sanitary and safety reasons. Grease, dust, and other wastes can put your kitchen at risk for fires – and a kitchen fire poses not only a risk to your employees but a significant threat to your business if the fire shuts down your kitchens for several days / weeks for repairs.

To help make the cleaning of exhaust systems easier you can install what is called an Access Panel for your system. Access panels give you ease of access to areas that are often overlooked and neglected during regular cleanings, and these areas are generally the areas where grease can build up quite significantly over time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has different regular cleaning time lines and requirements based on your jurisdiction and location, however in some areas you may be required to install an access panel. It is highly recommended to research your local NFPA guidelines to be sure that you meet their requirements per your kitchen space. For example – if you are cooking with lots of grease or deep frying often then you may be required to perform more deep cleanings per guidelines rather than a kitchen that uses minimal grease, such as a bakery. An access panel allows you to easily clean those tough areas before they can build up and lead to damage or risks, and makes it easier for inspections and repair when necessary.

Regardless of whether National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires you to install an Access Panel you should consider the part. Access panels provide ease of access to your exhaust hood system for cleaning, inspections and repairs, and can help keep your exhaust system and kitchen running that much easier.  HoodMart provides our customers with No Weld Grease Duct Work that includes Access Panels in all elbows provided with their Grease Duct Kits, wide range of exhaust hood systems - from Compensating (Short Cycle) to Perforated Supply Plenum PSP - as well as all exhaust hood accessories such as hood filters, canopy hood lights, and curbs. If you still have questions regarding the purchase of your hood system, please feel free to contact one of our experts today by calling us at 1.800.715.1014 or by contacting us through our live chat system.