As the mobile food industry gears up for Spring, we’re urging operators to heed this safety advice when storing, transporting, handling and using LP gas cylinders. As the preferred cooking option for most vendors, LP Gas has been used to supply fuel to food trucks since the industry’s inception. Today we want to share some basic training for LP Gas users to help them minimise the risks. Unfortunately, there are still a handful of gas incidents each year and as an industry we hope to ensure these are prevented.
LP Gas Safety Tips For Food Trucks
With LP Gas cylinders used for food truck operation there are three key areas that vendors need to manage: the cylinder, the regulator that regulates the flow of gas to the cooking appliances and the hoses that connect the cylinder to the appliance.
With cylinders, the first consideration has to be the weight. A full cylinder will weigh twice the contents weight shown on it, so has to be lifted carefully or a cart used. Cylinders should always be transported and stored with the valve at the top. Gas cylinders are easy to use if you follow the supplier’s instructions. When not in use, cylinders must be stored outside in an accessible place.
If you store unused cylinders in an area where people walk, they should be restrained to stop them falling over. Remember the contents are flammable so never subject cylinders to heat. Once they have been used, return empty cylinders to the nearest supplier.
Regulators are necessary to reduce the variable cylinder pressure to the constant low pressure needed by your kitchen appliances. They come in two variations: screwed connectors and quick connect. These are specific to the type of cylinder they can be attached to and should be clearly marked.
Most screwed connections, are left-handed and tighten in the opposite direction to a normal screw. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when making connections and use the correct sized wrench. Do not over tighten and do not force a regulator if it does not fit easily. It is important to make sure that the outlet pressure of the regulator is the same as the inlet pressure of the appliance.
Do not tamper with regulators as they are preset by their manufacturer to control the gas supply at the correct pressure. Finally, regulators should always be protected from the rain. If your regulators are more than 10 years old or show signs of wear or damage, definitely replace them.
Make sure your hoses are clearly marked for commercial use. Also, the outlet pressure of the regulator exceeds 50 mbar, make sure it is clearly marked as ‘High Pressure LPG’. Hose lengths should be as short as possible but long enough so that they are not pulled tight. Secure with proper hose clips, this will prevent them from damage while the truck is moving.
Finally, keep hoses in your food truck clear of hot surfaces. Insure that you replace any hose that is more than 10 years old or that shows signs of wear, cracking or damage. When it comes to cooking appliances, you should never connect a natural gas appliance to an LP Gas supply, or modify your gas appliance. Use in accordance with the supplier’s instructions and keep them properly maintained as damaged equipment poses a safety risk.
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The Bottom Line
This year promises to be a prosperous and exciting food truck season. Make sure you and your employees follow these tips to keep safety front and center at all times. Do you have any additional LP Gas safety tips we’ve missed? Share your thoughts on this topic on social media. Facebook | Twitter