Advice Regarding Gas Safety Certifcates for Catering Trailers
by Brian Penny
I read a few of your sample questions/advice regarding gas safety inspections and advice to search the gas safe register.
The qualification an engineer needs is CongLP1CMC (commercial mobile catering).
In my experience, as an engineer, and particularly as someone that checks other engineers certifcates at major events is that an awful lot of engineers do not test in accordance with UKLPG code of practice part 3, for example, listing tightness test details when no test point is fitted, listing kw rating when these results cannot be measured without a meter, which are not fitted to these installations.
As a minimum a tightness test should be carried out and tests, in accordance with regulation 26, section 9 of the gas safety installation and use regulations, namely that pipework, bottles, regulatiors are sufficient to supply gas at a minimum of 34.5 mb, appliances burn cleanly (currently flue gas analyser tests are not part of tests associated with CoP24 pt 3) and ventilation.
Ventilation rarely complies with the re requirement 25cm2 divided between high and low level, experience advising other engineers and feedback from gas safe inspectors, a test with a direct reading carbon dioxide analyser (I use an Anton vent checker) in mid room with hatches in normal operating position and appliances running 10 mins , with results below 2800ppm is an acceptable result, in line with ventilation assessments for commercial kitchens.
There are a lot of commercial pressures from customers to cut corners, DIY gas work and repairs, as well as engineers that at best do not understand gas safety, at worst don't care, or those working outside their scope.
LPG and catering are far more complicated that domestic heating, I tend to look a little closer at any certificate by someone trading as xxxxxxx plumbing & heating.
local authorities are risk adverse, same with organisations such as retail concessions, who demand 100% compliance with regulations. This puts pressure on engineers not to record pertinent information. I carry out support and monitoring of engineers for a large plc, past with court cases have proved that where information hasn't been recorded, the courts will assume that critical tests haven't been carried out.
Please encourage anyone you deal with to insist certification is fully and positively reported, where installations fall short of the regulations this must be recorded and the engineer to report why it is not dangerous (trained operatives, signage, safe systems of work, light use etc).
There is increasingly pressure from environmental health and site owners for caterers to produce gas safety paperwork for pop up kitchens, these are not classed as installations being unfixed, UKLPG code of practise 24 part 4 refers, portable work equipment regulations apply, the just of which is that equipment should be used and maintained in accordance with manufacturers instructions, advice for engineers should be that this information be recorded on a service report. Use of gas rails is to be encouraged as I'd the use of boiling rings with flame safety devices.
I have been quite involved with event safety, as I hope you can tell, there are a number of accidents every year which are avoidable.
I hope the above will be taken in the spirit it's offered in, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org is any further advice is required.