Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Food Truck Fire Safety Tips

The food truck industry has seen a surge in popularity. Squeezing a functional kitchen into the confines of a vehicle can be challenging, and with it comes fire safety hazards that one must consider to keep employees and customers safe. Most food trucks use a gas or electricity power source to cook and refrigerate appliances including propane gas fuel ovens, burners and fryers, and portable electric generators to power appliances. Food truck operators are responsible for compliance with local mobile food services regulations, and to ensure the safety and health of their employees. The following tips can help food truck operations stay safe and out of harm from potential fires.

Propane Safety Tips
  • Contact a qualified propane service retailer to connect tanks to appliances.
  • Ensure you have sufficient ventilation.
  • Know what propane smells like. Propane tank retailer offer scratch pads that can help employees know what it smells like in case of a leak.
  • Do not try to fix a leak yourself. Call your supplier and do not use any appliance connected to a problematic cylinder until the problem is solved.

Portable Electric Generators Safety Tips
  • The generator should not be connected directly to mobile kitchen equipment without a proper transfer switch installed and must be properly grounded.
  • Never operate the generator inside the truck.
  • Use carbon monoxide detectors to monitor levels inside the truck, as generators can produce high levels of the gas very quickly.
  • Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator.

In addition, the International Fire Marshals Association (IFMA) recommends food truck safety training that includes how to use portable fire extinguishers, shut off fuel sources, refuel safely and how to perform leak detection. IFMA also recommends that:
  • gas systems on mobile cooking vehicles comply with NFPA 58 in the U.S. and, in Canada, CSA Standards for handling propane;
  • gas systems are inspected prior to each use by a trained worker;
  • leak detection be performed every time a new connection or a change in cylinder is made to any gas system.

 For a complete list of safety tips, visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website