Operators planning to fire up outside gas cooking equipment this summer have been warned to stay abreast of the latest safety advice.
UKLPG, the trade association for the LP Gas industry, yesterday issued a reminder to businesses to follow the correct protocols when storing, transporting, handling and using fuel and cylinders used for kit such as commercial BBQs and alfresco cooking stations.
With the growing popularity of festivals, sporting events and fetes, as well as the street food sector, the Nationwide Caterers’ Association (NCASS) estimates the outdoor catering sector is worth an estimated £1.3bn and consumes up to 700,000 cylinders of LP Gas a year.
As a result, throughout 2015, NCASS is placing increased importance on LP Gas safety for all mobile caterers so installations are operated safely and within the relevant regulations.
Rob Shuttleworth, chief executive of UKLPG, said: “LP Gas is an extremely versatile and portable fuel. As Britain’s pre-eminent portable energy for cooking and outdoor catering, more and more people are turning to it due to its ability to make heating and cooking outdoors or on the move simple, quick and easy.
“However, it is important that LP Gas is used correctly to avoid any risk from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning to personal injury and damage to property. We’re urging caterers and hospitality professionals to incorporate simple safety checks into their use as all of these risks can be avoided when the proper safety precautions are taken.”
The UKLPG has issued a series of guidelines to ensure safe usage of cylinders:
- A full cylinder will weigh about twice the contents weight shown on it so lift cylinders carefully or use a trolley.
- Transport, store and use cylinders with their valve uppermost.
- Don’t subject cylinders to heat.
- Never use propane cylinders indoors.
- Restrain large cylinders to stop them falling over.
- Always use cylinders in accordance with the supplier’s instructions.
- Avoid obstructing access to cylinders.
- Return empty gas cylinders to its owner’s nearest stockist, when you no longer require it.
- Alongside safe cylinder use, UKLPG is reiterating that ventilation is key in small enclosed spaces as harmful gas can build up very quickly, causing CO poisoning.