Patients and service users of healthcare establishments such as care homes, hospitals, dental surgeries, health centres and other residential care facilities can be particularly vulnerable to air and water borne diseases.

Many germs and bacteria can be distributed around a healthcare facility in ducting systems which, very often, are out of sight and therefore sometimes overlooked for essential maintenance and cleaning.

Stringent, effective and regular cleaning according to industry guidelines can also help to prevent fires from spreading.

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Ductwork that forms part of a building’s extract system can also be a route for bacteria to transfer throughout a building, so keeping it clean is very important. These systems must be cleaned regularly to ensure efficient extraction and minimises the risk of spreading bacteria and toxic mould. Find out more about Ventilation Hygiene and Duct Cleaning.

To prevent fire, kitchen extract ductwork must be cleaned efficiently and effectively at regular intervals, in compliance with the new BESA specification TR19® Grease.   Kitchen extract systems in heavy use (12-16 hours a day) should be cleaned at least quarterly, moderate use (6-12 hours a day) should be cleaned half-yearly, light use (2-6 hours a day) should be cleaned at least once a year. Find out more about Kitchen Extract Compliance and Kitchen Extract Cleaning for fire safety.

Another very important passive fire prevention measure is the regular testing, cleaning and maintenance of fire dampers.  These are metal louvres which can open and close and are installed across the ductwork to form a temporary barrier when closed but allow the free flow of air when open.  You may not even be aware that your ventilation system has fire dampers, but they fulfil a very important function, so you must be sure that they are in working order.

In the event of a fire travelling through ductwork, the fire damper must close, to restrict the oxygen supply to the fire and create a barrier which slows the spread of the fire.  This buys valuable time in which to safely evacuate patients, staff and visitors, especially the more vulnerable and less mobile.

There are different types of fire damper; some are spring operated, some have fuseable links and there are  other designs which are remotely operated.  All types must be regularly tested, using a method known as drop testing, cleaned and maintained.  According to recently updated guidance, BS9999:2017, all fire dampers must now be tested at no more than twelve-month intervals.

We can help you locate your fire dampers, create access to inaccessible fire dampers then drop test, clean and maintain them for compliance.  More information can be found on our fire dampers page.

Laundry extract systems should form part of the building manager’s fire risk assessment and are covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  This advises that laundry extract systems should be regularly inspected and the ductwork cleaned in order to prevent fires. Failure to do so may be construed as negligence and may also compromise your insurance cover, as well as impacting your workers’ health and putting them at increased risk from fire.


Irrespective of your industry, ductwork cleaning is an essential task that ensures your property’s compliance with the latest regulations and standards set out in TR19. Book your site survey to discuss your cleaning needs and keep your system in check.

A build-up in your system could reduce air efficiency and create a substantial fire risk. Take the proactive approach with Ferncroft Duct Cleaning, offering comprehensive solutions that promote performance, kitchen safety, and help you prepare for your fire risk assessment.

Prove you’re meeting your responsibilities to health and safety visitors, your landlord and insurance companies. We’ll provide all the necessary paperwork needed to support our work, including Fire Safety Certificates, Method Statements and Risk Assessment and COSHH Data Sheets.