Mobile kitchens (including food trucks) primarily use propane to fuel cooking and other equipment. Fires and explosions can occur when propane leaks from equipment or a fuel tank, builds up, and ignites.
As warmer weather brings more people outdoors, and the popularity of mobile food vendors grows, the risks associated with propane increases.
Unique risks for mobile kitchens
Propane use in mobile kitchens, including food trucks, mobile caterers, and remote camps, is convenient and portable but it can be a serious risk.
Propane gas systems used in mobile kitchens, unlike those in most other commercial premises, are exposed to stresses, such as vibration and movement, on a daily basis which can increase the risk.
Propane can leak and build up inside the kitchen. It can then be ignited by an open flame (such as a pilot light), hot surfaces, sizzling oil, electrical equipment (such as stoves and portable generators), wiring or other ignition sources.
Understanding the risks
It’s important to understand the risks when working with propane in mobile kitchens and know how to mitigate those risks by performing regular maintenance checks and having safety processes in place.
The following resources help outline ways owners and operators of mobile kitchens can reduce hazards and the risk of workplace injuries and incidents, including burns, fires, and explosions when working with propane.
Food trucks and propane safety videos
Other related resources
- Food trucks can pose explosion risk
- Reducing the risk of propane explosions in food trucks (Safety Bulletin)
- What’s wrong with this photo? – Food truck safety (WorkSafe Magazine)
- Reduce the risk of propane explosions in food trucks (WorkSafe Magazine)
- Helping food truck owners put propane safety on the menu (Speaking of Safety blog)
- Safety for food truck operators (Speaking of Safety blog)
- Carbon monoxide exposure from heaters in outdoor dining spaces (Risk Advisory)