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Myth Busters: Shepherd Filters Increase Fire Risk May 13, 2020



Cooking can create flames.  Shepherd Filters do not increase this fire risk.


A common misunderstanding about Shepherd Filters is that they increase fire risk.  People believe this because Shepherd Filters hold all the grease right over the heat source.

And, this is true.  Shepherd Filters do hold all the grease in the woolen blanket right above your heat source. 

Wool cannot burn, but the grease in the wool can. 

But that is not the myth.


What is the myth?


The myth is that Shepherd Filters are more dangerous than other filters. 

The thing with other filters – such as baffle filters, or honeycomb steel filters – is that they also hold the grease right at the front, above the heat source. 

Your honeycomb filters clog up with grease; all the oil stay sitting at the front.  Exactly the same as Shepherd Filters

Baffle filters do let a bit more grease through.  But the grease is still there.  The bottom edge of the square filter slots into a trough.  Oil runs down the baffles and sits in that slot.  So, a lot of your oil is still being held right there, over your heat source. 

When it comes to holding grease over your heat source, Shepherd Filters are neither better nor worse. 


So, what is the difference?


Shepherd Filters are far superior; they only hold grease at the front.  Remember when I said that baffle filters let a little more grease through?  It is the same with any other type of filter.  Honeycomb and baffle filters can let up to 80% of the grease in your air pass through into your system.  It escapes through the filter, coating your hood, ducting, and fan.  This grease is literally a fuel source accumulating inside your extraction system. 

If anything goes wrong in your kitchen – if your cooking catches fire on the stovetop, or the fan in your system fails and catches fire – you have all this accumulated fuel waiting to ignite.   

With Shepherd Filters, there is none of this accumulated fuel inside your system.  It is all caught before it enters.


What is the truth?


The truth is that Shepherd Filters don’t increase your fire risk; they reduce it.

Yes, the grease is more visible in Shepherd Filters than in baffle or honeycomb filters.  But trust me, it is always there – Shepherd Filter or not. 

And after all, capturing the grease at the front of your filter is the best place to hold it.  Right there where you can see it; where you can change it and dispose of all that grease. 


Now you know …


Holding your grease at the front of your filter before it escapes into your ducting is the safest place to have it.



About the Author:

Saskia Prestidge is a content marketer, passionate about critical hygiene in the food industry. 

Amazed by the team’s extensive experience, Saskia is on a mission to squeeze the knowledge from their heads and share it with the food industry. 

Saskia would love to hear from you.  Find her at saskia@presco.co.nz



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