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Gas information sheet 62: Clearances to overhead grease filters and acceptable means to comply

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Introduction

This gas information sheet provides information about how to achieve compliant clearances between commercial catering appliances and grease filters installed in extraction canopies. It also provides guidance about acceptable means to comply, considering there are other related standards (for example, AS 1668) and other authorities/parties involved in the approval of commercial kitchens.

Clearances provide a safe buffer between open flame cooking appliances that can flare up during the cooking process and ignite grease-laden filters.

Industry has adopted solutions when faced with a lack of clearance between overhead grease filters and appliances, but these solutions may adversely affect the overhead canopy’s operation.

Solutions ESV will consider

In order of preference, the solutions Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) will consider involve modifying the installation to achieve compliance with the appliance manufacturer’s instructions or AS/NZS 5601.1:2013 if the manufacturer’s instructions do not state clearance requirements, by following one of the following compliance options:

  1. Consult with the appliance manufacturer for optional components that may lower the appliance height and provide the required clearance between any part of the grease filter and the appliance’s cooking surface. (The optional components must be certified for use with that appliance.)
  2. Re-position the canopy to provide the required clearance between any part of the grease filter and the cooking surface of the appliance.
  3. If re-positioning of the canopy is not possible, then modify or relocate the grease filter to achieve the minimum clearance, or cover a section of the grease filter/s in the exclusion area with a permanent metal blanking plate (or shield) fixed to the canopy.

Important points to remember

There are several important points to remember:

  • Canopy modifications can only be carried out by a person authorised by the canopy manufacturer or by the installer (which may be the licensed plumber).
  • Any modification must be permanent. This means the canopy cannot be returned to its original non-compliant state by cleaning or exchanging filters.
  • If a new canopy is being installed and compliance option 3 (above) is being implemented, then the applicant must provide a letter specific to the installation address from the canopy manufacturer or a suitably qualified person (for example, a person authorised by the canopy manufacturer to install, commission, or modify the canopy to the manufacturer’s design). The letter must:
    • declare that the modification has not affected the canopy’s compliance with the Australian standard (AS 1668) for the approval of extraction canopies in commercial kitchens
    • be on the canopy manufacturer’s or suitably qualified person’s letterhead
    • be submitted as part of a new gas application, or as supporting documentation to resolve a non-compliant installation.

No letter is required for existing canopies.

Further information

Contact ESV’s Technical Information Line on 1800 652 563, or email gastechnicalenquiry@energysafe.vic.gov.au.