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There are certain criteria’s to adhere to ensure that mobile catering vehicles meet the requirements of the gas safety regulations and comply with the appropriate standards. The following, acts as guidance in meeting these requirements.
It is imperative that gas cylinders are stored in a compartment separate from the main vehicle compartment or catering area.
The compartment needs to be provided with a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistance.
The access door to the cylinders need to have high and low level ventilation.
The gas cylinders are to be secured and in an upright position during transit.
Gas cylinders are to be placed outside of the vehicle during trading.
During trading time gas cylinders are to be:
Stored in a ventilated area.
Upright on a firm, level hard footing.
Located away from entrances/exits & circulation areas.
Kept away from any heat source.
Kept clear from rubbish/other debris.
At least 2 m away from drains/drainage covers.
Protected against access by the public.
Stored away from other flammable materials/substances.
Flexible hoses are to be in good condition.
Hose clips are to be suitable and in good condition.
Flexible hoses are to be labelled with the BS3212/BSEN1763.
The regulator is to be labelled with BS3016 or BSEN12864.
The flexible hose length from the regulator to the appliance is no more than 1m.
The hose connections are to be checked with gas leak detection spray.
Gas safety training needs to be provided to all employees.
A no smoking policy near the gas cylinders is a must.
Emergency procedures need to be in place for all eventualities.
A copy of emergency procedures are to be onsite.
Emergency services need to gain access to the cylinders.
Appropriate signage is to be displayed.
1. Isolate the gas to all appliances.
2. Turn off the gas supply at the cylinders.
3. Gas bottles are to be stored safely and not tampered with.
4. All empty cylinders are to be removed and stored safely.
5. Remove all cardboard and rubbish (incl. oil) from the unit.
It is imperative that 1-5 of the closing checklist is adhered to.
Safety measures: Mobile Catering Vehicles / New Vehicles
To ensure mobile catering vehicles meet the gas safety regulations and comply with the appropriate standards, a new unit should come with written evidence that the installation complies with current gas safety legislation. It should contain details of what the installation consisted of and by whom the gas safety check was completed by. It is recommended that a gas safety report is produced before purchasing any mobile catering vehicle. (Gas safety Report – a report completed by a registered gas engineer stating to what extent a gas installation complies with gas safety standards)
Trailers and equipment
It is important to obtain a copy of the latest gas safety certificate which are issued annually. A gas safety certificate is a check to ensure safe operation of gas appliances, pipework and flues, carried out by a suitably qualified Gas Safe engineer, with competence to work on commercial LPG mobile catering units. If this is not available then it is recommended that the equipment is checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer before the purchase of the vehicle.
If a vehicle is being converted or a converted vehicle is being purchased, it must comply with current gas safety legislation. It is important to be aware that LPG cylinders used are heavy and when full they can weigh up to twice the marked weight. Owners must bare this in mind and ensure that the cylinders do not take the vehicle over its recommended Maximum Allowable Mass. This may also be referred to as the permissible maximum weight or gross vehicle weight. Owners are responsible in ensuring the vehicle is safe to use and road worthy.
Trailers should not be overloaded and the weight should be maintained within the manufacturers recommended weight. The front weight should not exceed the towing vehicle. The trailer should not exceed the recommendations of the towing vehicle manufacturer.
Installation of gas equipment
Gas equipment and services must only be installed and repaired by a gas safe registered installer. All gas safe registered engineers can be certified on www.gassaferegister. All gas safe registered engineers will have their own personal ID number. Engineers must be suitably qualified to work on mobile catering equipment.
If equipment is not installed correctly gas may escape and water may leak. Appliances may be at risk of giving out poisonous fumes. It is therefore imperative to have knowledge of when gas appliances/equipment and pipework were installed. Know who installed the equipment.
Maintenance of gas equipment
In accordance with manufacturers recommendations gas appliances, flues, pipework and other safety devices should be inspected regularly. It is often recommended that this should be completed every six month but at the least every 12 month, done so by a competent person. The Gas Safety Regulations require gas appliance, flues ect to be maintained in a safe condition. It is beneficial to note when gas services are due or when last serviced.
Positioning of cylinders
Cylinders carried on the vehicle should be located in a positon which minimises the potential risk of damage that may occur from a road traffic accident. If possible the cylinders should be stored in open air to minimise the risk of gas build up.
Cylinders may also be located in a well ventilated housing mounted outside the vehicle or within a specially adapted compartment recessed into the body of the vehicle but sealed from its interior.
Compartments including the base, should be constructed of materials which provide a minimum standard of 30 minutes fire resistance. Joints should be fire stopped to maintain the fire resistance standard.
Cylinders must be secured in the upright position during transit.
Gas cylinders must NEVER be left on during transit.
Cylinder compartments must be adequately ventilated through the access door at high and low level directly to the outside.
Each vent should not be less than 2% of the compartment floor area.
These vents must be provided in addition to windows and doors.
Screens need to be used to prevent access by pests. These should be accessible for inspection and cleaning and should be of sufficient material and design to minimise dust build up.
Access to the cylinder housing should be from outside the vehicle only. They should be designed to allow easy access for changing cylinders and quick removal of cylinders in an emergency situation.
Ensure compartments are not blocked with debris or obsticales.
Unauthorised access should be prevented when the vehicle is unattended.
A warning sign or label should be visable on the exterior of the housing or compartment stating ‘Caution LPG Highly flammable’.
Photographs to show good and bad practice
Cylinders Outside of vehicles
Cylinders can be placed outside the vehicle during use when parked provided they are adjacent to the vehicle on firm and level ground.
Cylinders should be located away from entrances/exits and circulation areas.
Avoid placing the cylinders under openings or close to doors, ventilation grills or openable windows. They should also be kept away from drainage points or voids.
Cylinders should be kept away from passing vehicles.
The number of cylinders kept should be the minimum necessary for the type and number of appliances served. Any reserve cylinders in stock should be on a 1 for 1 replacement basis
No source of ignition should be within 1m outside the vehicle or cylinder storage. For example oil drums, generators or vehicles should be at least 1m away from the gas supply.
Ensure LPG cylinders are placed at least 2 metres away from drains or drainage covers.
Never store the cylinders near to a heat source or in direct sunlight. Never store cylinders next to flammable substances such as cooking oil.
Never smoke near the gas bottles or any other source of ignition.
Shielding should be provided where necessary to prevent exhaust pipes becoming an ignition source.
Gas safety for dummies:
Saving unwanted costs after buying a catering!
Buying a new/used van, trailer or container?
1. Make sure the unit has a valid gas safety certificate
2. Check the engineer issuing the safety certificate if qualified to do so at www.gassaferegister.co.uk
3. Engineer requires 4 elements. Commercial core, commercial catering, lpg and mobile catering.
Like this below:
Check the current gas safety certificate for any advice or warning notices, if they have any then ask to see that remedial work had been carried out.
We however we understand that a lot of catering units do not have current gas safety certification so if although unadvisable you are planning to buy one without a gas safety certificate. Following this check list below could save you a fortune.
Serving hatches and doors are NOT classed as ventilation. Closable vents are also NOT classed as ventilation. Ie closable roof hatches. For every kw of energy 25cm2 OF FREE AIR VENTIALTION IS REQUIRED.
Example at water boiler or tea urns usual kw output is around 3.5 kw. 3.5kw x 25cm2 = 87.5 cm2
You then devide this by 2 (higher and lower) ventilation = 43.75 cm2
As you can imagine most catering trailers and vans have on average 3-4 gas appliances. So as you can imagine buying a new or used van with no ventilation can become costly. Get a quote of your local mobile catering gas engineer.
Bottle/ Cylinder Safety:
Bottle storage areas should be a specialy adapted compartment either recessed into the trailer or purposely built onto the van trailer. Ventilation at higher and lower levels (DRILLED HOLES IN THE FLOOR OR DOORS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE) is also essential. Bottle storage areas should vent to the outside only. And access door should open to the outside only.
Also make sure that purpose built straps to keep bottles secure are available.
Bottle storage area should also be fire proofed for 30mins.
Inside the catering unit rigid pipework (copper/steel/iron) should be used and fixed in place.
High pressure hose unless on the supply bottle tails is not permitted.
Check all visible pipework for damage. (with transportation and loose equipment pipework tends to get damaged)
Always check supply hoses for signs of wear. Signs of cracking.
Appliances can only be certified as safe if ce approved. Ask seller if they can supply any relevant documentation for equipment. Makes/models etc. if not call a gasaferegistered engineer for advice.
Equipment should be fixed in place.
Check for extensive wear and damage.
Ask if any service records are available.
These are all the big problems we are currently coming across, we will update this page with any of your own experiences.
Most gas safe registered engineers will provide consultancy when buying your catering unit for a small fee.
That fee could save you a fortune in unwanted costs.
L: 01204 435534