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 minimize 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.

Regular Checks: Check your gas lines, hoses, and connections regularly for leaks. You can do a simple soap and water test – just apply it to the connections and look for bubbles when the gas is on. If you see any, you’ve got a leak. Fix it before you light anything and contact a professional on an annual basis to conduct an evaluation.

Secure Gas Cylinders: Those gas cylinders need to be secured upright and in a place where they won’t get knocked around. If they fall over and the valve gets hit, you could be dealing with a major hazard. These can be dangerous especially if you are involved in an accident on the road.

Learn How to Shut Off an LP Tank

In case something goes wrong, you and your staff need to know how to shut off the gas supply, quick and easy. Practice it. In a panic situation, that knowledge could save your truck, or even lives. Here’s the process you can go through with your staff.

Step 1: Locate Your Gas Supply Valve

  • First off, every person working on the truck needs to know where the main gas supply valve is. This is typically located on the gas cylinder itself or where the gas line enters the cooking appliance.
  • Example: Let’s say your food truck uses a standard propane tank to fuel the grill. The main shut-off valve is the knob on top of the tank, where you turn the gas on and off.

Step 2: Learn How to Operate the Valve

  • Gas valves usually have a simple mechanism: turn clockwise to shut off and counter-clockwise to open. However, it’s crucial everyone knows this and can operate it smoothly.
  • Example: In a training session, show your staff the propane tank and demonstrate turning the valve clockwise to the “OFF” position. Then, have each team member practice this until they’re comfortable.

Step 3: Practice Regularly

  • Conduct regular drills that simulate different scenarios, such as smelling gas, hearing a hiss of a leak, or in the event of a fire. This helps build muscle memory and reduces panic in a real situation.
  • Example: Once a month, during a staff meeting, run a drill where you announce a simulated gas leak. Time how quickly your team can identify the correct action (shutting off the gas) and execute it.

Step 4: Signage and Instructions

  • Clearly label the gas shut-off valve with signage that can be easily seen, even in a panic situation. Also, have written instructions near the valve, detailing the steps to shut off the gas.
  • Example: Place a waterproof, durable sign on the propane tank that reads “GAS SHUT-OFF VALVE” with an arrow pointing to the valve. Nearby, attach laminated instructions with the steps to shut off the gas, including the direction to turn the valve.

Step 5: Emergency Plan

  • Include the gas shut-off procedure in your emergency plan. Ensure the plan is accessible to all staff members and is reviewed regularly.
  • Example: Create an emergency action plan document that includes detailed steps on what to do in case of a gas leak, fire, or other emergencies. This document should outline responsibilities, including who is designated to shut off the gas and who calls emergency services.

Step 6: Communication

  • Ensure your team knows how to communicate effectively in an emergency. Establish clear signals or shouts to indicate specific actions, like shutting off the gas.
  • Example: Decide on a clear, loud shout such as “GAS OFF!” to use when the gas needs to be shut off immediately. Train your staff to react promptly when they hear this command.

By following these steps and incorporating regular practice and clear communication, you and your team will be better prepared to handle emergencies involving the gas supply. This preparation can significantly reduce the risk of injury or damage to your food truck.

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.