Everything you need to know about the changes to the TR19 Guidelines

Hospitality business owners will be aware that the kitchen is a high-risk area for fires. If a fire does break out it can quickly spread via the kitchen ventilation system, causing damage throughout the entire building. For this reason, the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) introduced the TR19 guidelines to standardise duct, kitchen extract, and air handling cleaning in the UK.

Changes to the TR19 guidelines published in BESA’s most recent document contains updated information regarding the industry standards for managing grease levels within commercial kitchen ventilation systems. A key update is that a business must use an accredited service provider in order to be TR19 compliant. So, what do the changes mean for hospitality business owners?

Explaining TR19

BESA originally introduced the guidelines in 2005 for commercial kitchens and whilst it is not currently a legal requirement, TR19 and its predecessors have been widely accepted within the building servicers sector and by the UK insurance industry as the standard to which ventilation systems should be cleaned. However, due to the high risk of fire, your kitchen extraction warrants very close attention in the Fire Risk Assessment required under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and equivalent national legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The TR19 guidelines should inform this assessment to help ensure that your system remains safe at all times. Additionally, if a fire occurs in your system and it can be shown to be associated with inadequate cleaning of ductwork, then it could jeopardise the right to indemnity for loss or damage under your insurance policy.

Being compliant with TR19 means ensuring adequate access is provided to ductwork, inspection mechanisms, cleaning processes and that post-cleaning verification methods are met. A TR19 compliance report is complex, including clear statements that indicate how the system has been cleaned in its entirety, a recommendation on cleaning frequency, and even a schematic diagram or as-installed drawing of the system in its entirety.

Changes to the Criteria

In July 2019, BESA published a new document called ‘Fire Risk Management of Grease Accumulation within Kitchen Extraction Systems’. This contains updated information regarding the industry standards for maintaining grease levels within commercial ventilation systems to help prevent kitchen fires as well as details of what a report requires, and information on the Ventilation Hygiene Elite Scheme.

Prior to the document update, service providers had not been required to fulfil certain criteria. However, BESA has now detailed a set of criteria that service providers must meet to be able to deliver TR19 compliant services. This ensures that they are competent, accredited and able to provide a high enough standard of cleaning to help reduce fire hazards.

It’s estimated that 70% of fires in commercial kitchens originate in faulty extract ventilation systems due to the build-up of grease. Clogged ventilation can not only cause, but also rapidly spread a fire. During cooking, airborne greases, carbon and steam can condense on the inner walls of kitchen ventilation ducts and cause the build-up of fat deposits, reduced airflow, and foul odours. By not maintaining TR19 compliance, businesses open themselves up to both the physical and financial risk of severe building damage from fire.

Hospitality businesses should ensure they meet the criteria by choosing a service provider that delivers a post-clean TR19 report, is part of the Ventilation Hygiene Elite Scheme, and that its technicians have completed the BESA approved training. If the service provider is unable to provide any one of these, they may not be providing a TR19 compliant service.

Final Thoughts

Rentokil Specialist Hygiene offers a TR19 compliant kitchen ventilation deep cleaning and inspection service; including a full compliance report from BESA accredited and trained Grease Hygiene Technicians. Rentokil Specialist Hygiene is also a BESA member, meaning we are kept constantly up-to-date with any changes to the criteria. To ensure compliance and mitigate risk, call in the professionals for effective and safe kitchen ventilation cleaning.