Every week, grease fires break out in restaurant kitchens, often burning entire buildings to the ground and injuring or killing anybody caught in the blaze. This year already, multiple commercial restaurants in Australia and overseas have sustained millions of dollars worth of fire damage.

Deadly grease fires in commercial restaurants are often caused by poor kitchen exhaust maintenance, negligence of safety standards, and cleaning contractors that may not be doing the right thing.

Here are the Four Grease Fire Facts you need to know:

Fact 1: Grease fires start when airborne oil and grease from cooking build up in a kitchen’s exhaust filter, travel through the hood and ducts all the way to the roof, blocking ventilation and reducing air flow.

Fact 2: The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating indicates that the ignition of cooking materials accounts for almost half of all commercial kitchen fires in Australia, the UK, and the US.

Fact 3: 90% of the time, fire spreads through the exhaust system.


Fact 4: It only takes two millimetres of grease to pose a severe fire risk, and a grease fire can burnthrough a typical fast food style restaurant in as little as five minutes.

Although Australian standards and insurance requirements impose strict regulations on kitchen exhaust hoods including regular inspections, there is a lack of knowledge on proper maintenance and contractors sometimes fail to uphold these safety standards. Many restaurant owners are unaware of the poor workmanship, and often misleading reports, from industry professionals. This poses a serious risk to the public and can happen in any venue.

Jeremy Kronk, a House Fire Survivor is Dedicated to Stamping Out Grease Fires

After living through a house fire in 2015 that caused 52% full thickness burns to his body, Jeremy Kronk knows the damage that a rampant fire can cause. After nearly two years of gruelling recovery, he now works to stop preventable fires from breaking out and ruining the lives of others. Mr. Kronk developed Shepherd Filters after inspecting numerous venues where exhaust hoods were thick with grease, having been neglected by those hired to clean them, with venue owners none the wiser.

Mr. Kronk says, “Grease fires are preventable but some contractors in the industry don’t seem to care about safety. Sometimes, cleaners will do the bare minimum, without cleaning the whole system. They’ll provide venue owners with photos only of the cleaned areas and vague maintenance reports.” Mr Kronk believes that restaurant owners, staff and diners alike should be made aware of the dangers of grease fires.

We are sharing Mr. Kronk’s story to help spread the word about fire prevention and help educate everyone on how serious a little bit of grease can be. We will share a bit of information about Shepherd Filters below in case you are interested in learning more.

Shepherd Filters are a simple solution to ensure exhaust systems are clean. Made from Australian wool, the filters sit inside state-of-the-art stainless steel frames and capture 98% of airborne grease. They are easily replaceable and cost-effective. Shepherd Filters are environmentally friendly and support Australian wool farmers.

Learn more about Shepherd Filters here.

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