Restaurants and shops rely on good ventilation for odour control, fire safety, and comfort of staff.
We all understand that effective ventilation in public spaces is important, but as we approach Christmas this is perhaps more important than ever to ensure the wellbeing of staff and customers – especially with face masks becoming mandatory in shops and on public transport again.
For restaurants and shopping venues alike, good ventilation is relied upon for odour control, fire safety and of course the general comfort and health of staff, so particularly during winter when heaters are on and windows are closed, the cleaning and maintenance of extractors and ductwork is key.
With Christmas one of the busiest times of year for hospitality, health and safety should not be forgotten. The risk of fire due to a build-up of oils and fats within ductwork and extraction systems is perhaps the biggest consideration for commercial kitchens, but general day-to-day employee wellbeing should also be considered. Heat generated from cooking and equipment means kitchens often exceed 30°C or more, and whilst the HSE doesn’t state a maximum, it is widely agreed that temperatures should not exceed this, so good ventilation is essential for employees to remain comfortable and productive.
Outside of the kitchen, busy venues present the perfect opportunity for COVID-19 and other harmful particles to spread. Professional guidance issued by BESA in their COVID-19 and Air Conditioning Systems Advice Note stated, “Any airborne contamination can be minimised, if not eliminated, by proper and effective filtration and regular cleaning and maintenance of ventilation systems”. By the nature of ventilation systems, they remove ‘used air’ from the area in which they operate, so it is essential to keep these systems clean to prevent potential contamination of fresh air flow.
As is the case for any crowded space, ventilation within retail environments is crucial. As shops fill up in the lead up to Christmas managers should be aware of their obligations to staff and visitors.
Much like a crowded restaurant, busy shops are risky if ventilation systems are not properly cleaned and maintained. Along with bad air quality, dirty or poorly maintained ductwork can be a fire risk, so remember to get those fire dampers tested!
If you want to be sure your venue or shop is operating safely our Complete Compliance Package might be just the thing for you! For more information on this or for more advice on staying compliant, get in touch!