System Hygienics’ Jetvent keeps dirt out of ductwork

Reduces health and fire risk at hospital in Scotland

System Hygienics, a UK specialist in air ductwork system cleaning, says hospital laundry rooms can pose a significant health and fire risk if ventilation extract ductwork is not regularly maintained and cleaned.

The firm’s long-standing relationship with a hospital in the north of Scotland has meant clean ventilation and clean laundry for the hospital for several years.

The Polegate-based firm has been using its Jetvent Powervac system at the hospital on an annual basis to clean the extract ductwork, a process that does not cause any disruption to the day-to-day running of the hospital.

Outside grille before cleaning

System Hygienics says dirty extract ductwork can cause respiratory irritation and an accumulation of fibres from the laundry in the extract duct, combined with the heat from the machines, poses a significant fire risk.

In the Scottish hospital laundry, five tumble driers extract straight from the rear of the machines through branch ducts into three exhaust plenums via a main extract duct, which is about one metre in diameter. These can easily become partially or completely blocked by a build up of lint and fluff. This situation, combined with heat from the driers, can be a potential source of combustion and should, therefore, be regularly cleaned.

Outside grille after cleaning

Colin Mason of System Hygienics says the cleaning process and bagging up of the waste took approximately a day and a half, which is fairly typical for the amount of contamination revealed.

“We would recommend that these systems are cleaned at least annually but in some cases where the use is very heavy, more frequent cleaning should be considered,” he said.

Dryer extract ductwork before cleaning

System Hygienics’ recommendations are supported by the Department of Health’s Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01 - ‘Specialised Ventilation in Healthcare Premises’, which offers guidance on how hospitals can meet their legal requirements.

Dryer extract ductwork after cleaning

In addition, The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 places a duty of care on the building owner to take general fire precautions and states that systems designed to control fire risk – including ventilation ductwork – should be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

System Hygienics offers a full range of services including air duct cleaning, kitchen duct cleaning, rubbish chute cleaning, air hygiene surveys, risk assessment surveys, fire damper testing, environmental hygiene management programmes and abseiling cleaning works.