Catering Gas Safety Tips
Gas Safety Week runs from the 18th to the 24th of September, with the goal of raising the public's awareness about the dangers of unsafe gas work. It’s also a great time for caterers to review their gas safety procedures. Here are some quick tips on how to keep your business gas safe this week and all year round.
Don’t use domestic kitchen equipment
Domestic kitchen appliances won’t be able to cope with the demand that a commercial restaurant, café or catering establishment faces – this means that they'll be susceptible to frequent (and expensive) breakdowns, which could in turn affect their ability to operate safely.
This doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear if you only use commercial equipment – you’ll still need an annual Gas Safety check – but by ditching the domestic appliances, you’ll have the right tools for the job. You should also ensure that commercial equipment has a CE marking plate, which proves that it meets UK and European safety directives.
Make sure your equipment has an isolation valve
An emergency isolation valve will cut the flow of gas to your equipment if something goes wrong, and you and your employees should be trained in how to use it. Any equipment that uses LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) must have a flame failure device (FFD) fitted as well. If the FFD does not detect a flame in your equipment, it will not allow gas to be released - which can help to prevent deadly gas leaks.
Keep your kitchen clean and well-ventilated
Cooking in a commercial kitchen can generate quite a lot of grease, oils and fats, all of which can build up on surfaces, oven hobs, fryers and other pieces of equipment – including ventilation units. By keeping your kitchen clean and scheduling deep cleans of your ventilation units and ductwork, you can minimise the risk of your gas-burning equipment sparking a fire.
Install a commercial carbon monoxide detector
Fires and explosions aren’t the only risks associated with gas-burning catering equipment; your kitchen could also be generating dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, an odourless, colourless gas that can quickly cause serious illness or even death. A commercial carbon monoxide detector will have better detection capabilities than a domestic model, and many will be linked to a system which shuts off the gas supply if CO2 levels exceed a pre-determined threshold. This is typically 2800ppm or higher, though commercial detectors can often be set to react to any level of CO2.
Get your equipment checked at least once a year
Make sure that you have all gas-burning machines in your kitchen checked at least once a year by a Gas Safe-registered engineer who is qualified to carry out work on catering equipment. Make sure that you check their ID card when they visit your premises – you can then cross-check this information with the online Gas Safe Register. They’ll assess your equipment and will issue you with a certificate that tells you about any of the work they’ve carried out.
Catering Gas Safety – This Week and All Year Round
Gas safety should play a major role in the risk assessments you carry out in your commercial kitchen. It’s not just about legal compliance – it’s about protecting your premises and your people.
Click here to download a free guide to commercial gas safety.