The owner of a national fire protection and hood cleaning company stated recently that he hopes the deaths of two firefighters in a Boston restaurant fire will bring to light an issue that he has been trying to educate firefighters on for years.
That issue is the importance of routine restaurant hood cleaning, as well as routinely cleaning ducts and fans in commercial kitchens, said Massoud Farazandeh, general manager of Nationwide Fire Protection Corp., an affiliate of American Professional Services (APS-Hoods).
The Aug. 29 fire in the Tai Ho Mandarin and Cantonese Restaurant in West Roxbury that killed two firefighters burned in a greasy ceiling duct for an hour before being noticed, according to an Aug. 31 article in the Boston Herald.
The city had not inspected the Asian restaurant in more than a year. Its owners previously were cited in 2001 and 2005 for failing to clean grease-caked ducts and hood vents, the article stated. Investigators believe this dangerous condition caused the deadly fire.
"It breaks my heart that people lost their lives," Farazandeh said. "But if we can use this news to make something good come of it, it will make restaurants safer in the future."
Farazandeh, whose company installs hood and fire suppression systems and offers restaurant hood cleaning services, said he hopes this tragedy will get the attention of fire departments and inspection officials throughout the nation.
"The truth is, there are many restaurants across the nation that don't place hood, duct and fan cleaning high on their list of priorities. I've been screaming about this for years," he said. "These two deaths are the result of lack of attention to grease build-up and grease cleaning services in the restaurant industry."
Fire departments and insurance companies should join forces and push for legislation to make it mandatory for restaurants to meet regular cleaning schedules for their hoods, ducts and fans, Farazandeh said.
Frazandeh recommends that restaurants contact a reputable fire suppression system company to perform routine hood cleaning services to prevent kitchen fires. If you would like to learn more about hood cleaning services and additional services Nationwide Fire Protection Corp. and APS-Hoods provide, please visit their web site at www.aps-hoods.com.