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Anna Ellwood, General Manager at Hy5 Commercial Cleaning

Cleaning company’s pioneering app speeds up certification process for businesses

Hy5 Commercial Cleaning, which operates throughout the country, has invested in a specialist app which allows its staff to compile reports on the job whilst cleaning kitchen ventilation systems and to submit instant reports to clients.

By speeding up this process, the app also quickens the certification procedure for its customers and ensures they are up to date with essential insurance requirements and Environmental Health documentation.

Anna Ellwood, General Manager of Hy5, said: “Investing in this app has really revolutionised our operations, and makes life so much easier for all involved.

“The app saves us so much time and allows us to concentrate more on the daily jobs at hand of making sure our cleans are carried out to the highest possible standard.

“From an admin point of view, it is so much easier for everybody. The technicians can take photos and upload them instantly rather than having to go back to it and email them over, and it means I can get the reports finished the same day as the cleaning has taken place.

“This is of obvious benefit to the customer as, once they have paid the invoice, we can get the report sent over for certification, and it just cuts out the delay in waiting for this to happen to receive the required certification to make sure all paperwork is kept up to date.

“It’s so important that all paperwork and certificates are gained to meet industry requirements, and ensure everything is in order and insurable if anything does go wrong.”

Hy5 Commercial Cleaning is one of only a handful of firms in the UK with industry standard Building Engineering Services Competent Assessment (BESCA) Vent Hygiene Elite (VHE) accreditation which has been introduced to ensure all ventilation systems in commercial kitchen settings are cleaned to the required TR19 level.

The BESCA VHE has been introduced to provide a management process for controlling the risk of grease-related fires associated with commercial kitchen extraction systems, and is backed by all of the UK’s major insurers.

By adapting the established Footprint Workflow Management app and filing reports on the same day of the cleaning job, Hy5 is significantly quickening the certification with BESCA. Previously, reports could take at least two weeks to be submitted.

The introduction of the app allows the grease hygiene technicians at Hy5 to provide accurate date and location stamps of the job, and photos can be uploaded directly to the app.

The technology allows grease micron measurements to be conducted, and the app automatically calculates how often a cleaning job should be carried out using the readings as a foolproof guide.

Ellwood said: “It is really clever technology and the automatic readings and calculations take away the risk of human error when working out how often a clean is required for safety purposes.”

With the BESCA VHE being introduced in recent years, it has never been so important for businesses to ensure their commercial kitchens are cleaned to industry wide standards.

Hy5 Managing Director Keith Simms is raising awareness of the accreditation to ensure businesses don’t get caught out by being unaware of the change in specification, especially schools and care homes where fire outbreaks could be particularly damaging.

He said: “Over time, the amount of grease which builds up in a kitchen’s ventilation system is vast and they can easily catch alight due to the nature of them being around intense heat and open flames. These greases are highly flammable and once they catch fire, the flames spread extremely quickly.

“It does not bear thinking about the worst case scenarios in schools and care homes where you could have hundreds of vulnerable people trying to get out of the building at the same time.

“We are leading the way nationally in grease hygiene, and we want to raise awareness about the new specification to prevent any major disasters.” 

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