Looking After Your Gas Cylinders On-site
Published : 15th August 2019
Lighting the ovens signifies the start of a long, but successful event. The oven pilot light ignites and the day (or night) begins.
Without gas on site though, those ovens will fail to cook anything and because any caterer knows, those cylinders provide the fuel for events days in, day out.
But (and we need to get serious for a second) those cylinders are flammable (obviously) and need care and attention or they’ll set light to more than the oven!
We felt this was worth noting down, just in case you’re new to LPG gas and lighting the ovens - you need a quick refresher.
Tools you’ll need
Firstly, before we get into the safety of your gas cylinders, let’s give you a quick check sheet for gas cylinders in the shape of a tool box.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gas Spanner
- Gas Leak Detection spray
- 4Kg Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher
- Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide alarms
- A couple of ‘No Smoking’ signs
How to store your gas cylinders
Storage and position of your gas cylinders is key to the safe use of your catering set-up.
Here are the main areas to think about:
- Gas cylinders should only be stored and used in an upright position. This ensures the safe use of them.
- You need to store them in a well-ventilated area, just in case they do leak.
- Heat is clearly a big no-no. Don’t store them or use them near heat or in direct sunlight, or in a very warm place.
You’ll need a distance of 1 metre between your gas bottles and buildings, marquees, or any sources of ignition. Gas bottles are supplied with a long hose for a reason. Remember cylinders also need to be 2 metres away from any open drains and never stored underground.
If you need to store gas cylinders then make sure you put them outside and in a secure cage to avoid misuse, and not in direct sunlight remember.
Smoking nearby is obviously not a great idea so place No Smoking signs near your storage. You clearly won’t be smoking in the kitchen either.
Some dangers you might not have thought about
Keeping the air moving in your kitchen or marquee is a given in the hot weather, but in the winter months, you might be very tempted to keep the cold and draft out.
But that’s leaving you open to carbon monoxide poisoning.
You must make sure that you have continual ventilation in the cooking area:
- At least two vents (ideally four) opposite each end of the space.
- Just opening the front of a marquee isn’t enough.
- You need at least 6sq cm per 1 kilowatt for good ventilation. (A 6-burner gas oven produces 40 kilowatts of power).
It’s advised that you have a carbon monoxide detector in your kitchen to monitor the levels and avoid you and your team being victim of poisoning due to an invisible, but deadly leak.
Deadly signs to watch for…
Flammable gas is one thing, poisoning from it is a more likely danger. You’re more likely to experience a problem with carbon monoxide poisoning than fire so here’s what you need to look for.
Symptoms of CO poisoning are much like a viral infection and can even affect mental ability, so spotting it can be tough.
Here are some tell-tale signs of CO poisoning:
• Mild headache.
• Severe headache including weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting.
• Coma, intermittent convulsions
• A depressed heart action or slowed respiration.
On-site, they’re your responsibility - hire safely!
Each oven and all the equipment is tested before each hire to ensure you’re not exposed to any issues.
It’s just another reason to hire well and hire from someone who’s worked with the SafeHire Association to build on high standards of professionalism.
Once on-site, the cylinders are your responsibility - so always remember that.
Need more help?
We’re proud to say that our standards far exceed the requirements and we’d be happy to help and advise you at your next event.
Get in touch!