AIRAH's Commercial Kitchen Exhaust STG

Commercial kitchen exhaust systems provide the perfect storm or fire triangle when poorly designed, installed, or maintained – ignition, fuel, and air.

Various stakeholders have identified that there are issues with the approach to commercial kitchen exhaust systems in Australia.

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About this topic
Purpose and aims

Resources and links
Get involved

About this topic

In Australia the installation of commercial kitchen exhaust systems is covered by AS1668 and the maintenance by AS1851.

These systems play an important role in any commercial kitchen, including:

  • Extraction of grease, oil, and vapours from cooking operations
  • Ventilation to maintain air quality
  • Odour control
  • Compliance and risk management to prevent building fire
  • Integration into a well-functioning HVAC system.

Purpose and aims

The priority of AIRAH’s Commercial Kitchen Exhaust STG is to study how to minimise the fire risk of commercial kitchen exhaust systems through a range of interventions targeted at designers, installers, owners, and users. The focus is on:

  • The design and installation requirements for accessibility to service and maintain equipment and systems
  • The service and cleaning of installed equipment and systems


The committee aims to provide:

  • Best practice guidelines
  • Best practice training
  • Recommendations for changes to Australian Standards



AIRAH's Streamline webinars

The Commercial Kitchen Exhaust STG held a webinar in February 2023 on their newly released Best Practice Guideline (available below). The recording of the session can be accessed here.

The STG also hosted a session in May 2022 discussing the Australian and overseas Standards. This Streamline  explored issues, risks, and recommendations, and dove into the Best Practice Guide development. AIRAH members may watch the recording of the session here.


Resources and links

AIRAH Best Practice Guideline: Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Management

AIRAH Best Practice Guideline: Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Management

This document highlights commonly encountered accessibility issues – often inhibiting inspection and cleaning.

Many in the commercial kitchen industry do not fully appreciate the importance and risks of kitchen exhaust maintenance. But maintenance contractors and other health and safety assessors regularly relate the horror stories of kitchen exhaust systems that have either been installed incorrectly or have been compromised since installation. This includes systems that do not comply with minimum safety standards and those that cannot – or have not – been maintained, resulting in years of grease accumulation and high fire and health risks; a so-called “accident waiting to happen”.

This Best Practice Guideline steps through an approach to managing fire risks associated with commercial kitchen exhaust systems. It begins with a review of the relevant design and installation standards – acknowledging the role of standards for minimum inspection and maintenance. This includes hood design, grease filtration, duct construction, and, most importantly – access to facilitate future inspection and maintenance.

Outlining a best practice evidence-based approach to inspection and cleaning, the guideline relates inspection and maintenance frequencies to observed and measured grease thickness levels within the system. It also provides a verification method for post-cleaning assessment and a cost-effective management approach to minimise fire and health risks, maintain compliance, and optimise performance.

This resource has been prepared by AIRAH’s Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Special Technical Group (STG). It is a must-read for anyone involved in the selection, installation, commissioning, certification, operation, or maintenance of commercial kitchen exhaust systems.

Published: 2022 | Pages: 40


The STG's February 2023 Streamline on this resource can be accessed here.

For more information on AIRAH's Best Practice Guidelines, please click here.



To view the members of AIRAH’s Commercial Kitchen Exhaust STG, click here.


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Get involved

Please click here for more information on AIRAH’s STGs and their work.

To get involved with the Commercial Kitchen Exhaust STG, please email [email protected]


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