A food truck is a growing trend in America’s busy city streets. Just like the other food service establishments, food trucks also bring fire risks that pose a threat to the life of the operators and the people they serve. There is hot equipment, cooking oils, electrical connections, engine oil, and other products, like paper, that can catch fire easily and result in an out-of-control flame.
If you also run a mobile food business or a food truck, you should know the fire safety basics to minimize the effects. Here is everything you need to know about fire safety in food trucks.
Know Your Potential Risks
Apart from the risks caused by any vehicle that runs on diesel or gasoline, other life-threatening risks are caused by portable generators and cooking without good fire suppression equipment. Propane tanks carried inside the food truck may cause propane leaks in the enclosed space.
Propane is heavier than air and tends to pool near the floor of the truck, creating a recipe for deadly disaster. Portable generators that provide the food trucks with electrical access may also create a fire risk. Furthermore, cooking without a proper hood suppression system also sets the stage for fire risk.
Have Portable Fire Extinguishers As A Backup
While every food truck operator carries a portable fire extinguisher, most of them don’t know that they need two types of extinguishers to prevent fire. Class K fire extinguisher is designed to suppress kitchen fires that involve oils, fats, or grease. And, class ABC fire extinguisher fights against the fire that involves paper, wood wrapper, plastic, etc.
Get An Automatic Fire Suppression System Installed
Since most of the food service business fires are caused by cooking equipment, the government requires operators to install an automatic fire suppression system. They dispense chemicals to curb the flames. When you activate the system, it automatically cuts the supply of fuel or electricity to the cooking equipment.
Also, make sure to get this system inspected by a fire extinguisher services professional at least every six months. The fire suppression system manufacturer can also refer you to certified fire extinguisher services for maintenance and inspection.
Get The Exhaust System Inspected
Another fire safety measure you must keep in mind is to get all the fire safety equipment inspected by certified professionals semi-annually. In the case of high-volume operations, consider a quarterly inspection of the fire suppression system.
For moderate operations, quarterly inspections and maintenance will keep the system in a good working condition. If you use solid fuel cooking equipment, like wood/charcoal burning ovens, the kitchen exhaust systems require monthly inspection.
Other Tips To Protect Your Food Truck From Fire
Be proactive in addressing the potential fire risks to save your life and investment. Here are some more tips to make the food truck operation safer:
- Have a fire suppression system in the food truck that comes with a manual switch and get it inspected professionally semi-annually.
- Get your kitchen’s exhaust system regularly inspected for grease build-up.
- Conduct regular inspections of the electrical equipment to determine hazards, like cracked switch plates, frayed wiring, etc. Don’t place combustible items near the power sources.
- Get the propane tank, as well as fire extinguisher hydrostatically-tested to rest assured that you can use them without compromising the functionality.
- Train yourself and other operators to use the fire-fighting equipment right. Train at least one employee on how to shut down the power of the propane tank.
This is all you need to know about fire safety in a food truck. If you operate a mobile food establishment, keep a note of all these things and prevent the fire from playing havoc with your life.