LPG Certificates and PAT Test Do You Legally Have to Have Them?

by Michelle
(Sussex)

I am getting confused by different advice on this issue.

Some Mobile caterers I have talked to and who are operating (for over 5 years) have never got these certificates and say that you legally don't have to have them , it is just advised.

I have trawled through endless HSE pdf's and cannot understand one way or the other. Any legal definitons known please?

Comments for LPG Certificates and PAT Test Do You Legally Have to Have Them?

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Mar 05, 2015
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pat and gas cert
by: spud wagon

We have a catering trailer in Hertfordshire on a council pitch.The dacorum council can revoke our street trading consent licence if we don't have gas certs (each appliance)and pat on anything that has a plug on it (including extension leads).

Hope this helps
Stuart

Mar 31, 2014
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Low voltage
by: Kevin

My trailer if you can call it that is like a 6ft clam shell hence ventilation is automatic. I have LPG in our house and the stupid situation is that once installed there is no requirement to have it checked ever again.
As for electricity, as my former life was electronics, all the electricity I use is 12v. That's lights and Pelletier fridge. The 72Ahr leisure battery provides the power.
It does seem by all the previous comments regarding lpg certificate requirement, that confusion abounds.

Apr 21, 2013
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lpg gas
by: luci

Hi all I open my trailer tomorrow and had my gas and electricity tested in the week. So im all legal and ready to go, im pleased I had it done as they found a leak which could have killed me. I used gaslec I think they are all around the areas worth looking them up. Good luck every one.

Apr 17, 2013
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LPG GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE
by: COMMERCIAL BOILER SERVICES LTD

YES YOU NEED TO HAVE A LPG GAS SAFETY CERTIFICATE IF YOU OWN A MOBILE CATERING VAN
THE ENGINEER THAT CARRIES OUT THE TEST MUST HAVE
COMMERCIAL CATERING
COMMERCIAL MOBILE CATERING
AND LPG

WE CARRY OUT THIS SERVICE IN A 50 MILE RADIUS OF CV8

FOR MORE INFO
EMAIL COMMERCIALBOILERSERVICES@YAHOO.COM

Oct 20, 2012
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LPG Certificates
by: Tim Carr

Hi Guys,

Having just opened a mobile trailer in Nottingham, you will need LPG safety checks done and signed off before you can trade.

You will have to have these done every 6 months now. PAT certificates are required by some councils but not all, however, would you want to kill someone because you didn't get your electrical equipment checked out?

In my opinion get your van/trailer checked out and follow the guidelines that relate to food safety so that you are covered in every way.
Good luck and please do read more about my first 3 days of trading

Oct 07, 2012
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gas/electric/checks
by: Anonymous

hi does anyone know of who does these checks /certificates in my area im just starting out and i am to finding it hard to find someone my area is camberley surrey gu170dq many thanks great site

Jul 27, 2012
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yes or no
by: Anonymous

Having my catering van rewired and replumbed and certificated. Having bought a new van it had obviously been repaired as required over the years. My Environmental food hitler says yes.
Since having the work it is discovered that Staff could be electricuted and a gas pipe was glued. Its piece of mind/

Roger kingston

May 04, 2012
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Testing As I See It! Why LPG - Electric Certificate - For Catering Trailer
by: andy

Hi All,

We live in a claim culture, the argument on testing as I have had it explained to me. If you are unfortunate enough to have an incident with for instance with your electrics, and you are attending an event someone touches exposed metal and are thrown to the ground.

The HSE (health and safety executive) are called according to the regulations as an owner/operator you need to take all reasonable precautions to prevent this from happening.

The only way you can defend yourself and prove that you are a responsible person is via a paper trail hence a gas safety check and an installation / pat test you have contacted and employed a skilled person to check your equipment and check it is safe for you and your customers.

We all believe that in this country you are innocent until proven guilty.

I believe me we are guilty and have to prove our innocence. When you are in court and in the dock for not following regulations for not following the regulations which I believe are guidance only, you will wished that you spent that £100 pounds on the test, because if you are involved in an incident, it’s too late.


EXPERIANCE 10 YEARS A.D.I.PS. TESTS
2 YEARS CATERING TRAILER
STILL OWN 2 CANDY/FLOSS/SWEETS
TRAILERS , HOOPLA , PICK STALL

Nov 06, 2011
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LPG GASD
by: julie

thank you for that question and the answer i too have had to look through all the red tape to find nothing. now i can relax.

Thank you again and good luck to all the new ones setting out.I hope to myself in 2 weeks.

Sep 29, 2011
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The endless searching to no avail
by: Anonymous

I appreciate that Tracking down a Qualified person to come to you may prove exhausting but they are out there.

Beware the Label Touting PAT Testers @ £1 per item. A proper Electrical Test would take 10 to 15 Minutes.

With regard to the GAS Testing I think that you should ask for a Certificate of Safety for the Installation and operation of Appliances, with a Clause that confirms that but does not Cover where the van is sited unless it is wrong on the day with regard to ventilation etc, and also the Gas Bottle.

It is a Mobile unit that can be certified as safe subject to it's siting and connection that has to be the sole responsibility of the Operator.

The Operator could have a check sheet to say that you have checked for Ventilation, Corect Gas Cylinder Connection, every time it is sited or when the gas is changed.

The Electrical appliances could be checked on a weekly basis for damage to plugs and cables etc

Sep 29, 2011
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No Electricity ????
by: Andrew Bothwell

The contributor that claimed to be "all LPG, and No Electrical Appliances".... Why did he have a Generator to Generate Electricity then, even if it was run on LPG.

No wonder the Inspectors didn't believe him!. Why on Earth would you Generate Electricity when you don't need Electricity? cetainly not to produce LPG Gas !!.

So we can therefore conclude that while he may not have had small Kettles and Toasters, that he very definitely had Mains Lights may be a Fridge or two, maybe a Freezer, water Boiler?

All Electrical Applianes and Fittings need to be tested and Inspected on a regular Basis whatever it may be. A Portable Appliance is anything Electrical that is Plugged into a Power Supply, and that includes his Trailer which I assume was plugged into the Generator?

Sep 29, 2011
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The endless searching to no avail
by: Anonymous

The point is that when we tried to get our brand new safe equipment checked for council and insurance purposes no one would come and do it. The issue is in postioning, if it is moved then the cert would be invalid or they just said you dont need it or they were not qualified. I of course want the equipment to be safe for everyone involved, but I am talking about trawling through endless red tape and contacts from safe gas etc to find at the end that here isnt actually a law in force.
I wanted to ask and post my message so that others wouldnt have to go through what I went through.

Sep 29, 2011
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Why is everyone chasing the legality ?
by: Andrew Bothwell

Why do you need a Law to tell you that you that you have to have your LPG and Electrical Appliances Tested?

The whole point of this is to keep and ensure the Safety of You, your Staff and your Customers. That is confirmed in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Further the Electricity at work act requires all Electrical Appliances used in your Business to be Tested on a regular Basis, or would you rather be Electrocuted.

I assume that there is something similar for LPG Installations, except that the Qualified person carrying out the Tests cannot be held responsible for the Placement of the Trailer, Blocking up Windows and Doors or the Connection of the LPG Cylinder, but he can confirm the Safety of the Gas Appliances, the Installation, the fitted Oxygen Analalizers etc.

The rest is the responsibility of the owner/operator to ensure that Vents are free of obstructions and the Gas Cylinder is properly connected.

So my advice is stop worrying about whether or not there is an enforceable Law or By-Law, and get it Tested for the Safety of others and you. Create a Schedule for re-testing and stick to it.

Jun 07, 2011
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LPG Cert Extra Info
by: Anonymous

I used to be a CORGI reg; installer / service / repair engineer and worked for British Gas for a considerable time.

The really annoying thing for me as far as these checks are concerned is quite simple. An engineer can come out and check the installation is safe and find it to be 100% so.

The owner/operator if the mobile unit could then theoretically move it by as little as 6' and change the dynamics regarding ventilation, advantitious air etc.

They could simply change the gas bottle and render the whole installation unsafe if they fail to tighten the valve slightly.

Too many grey areas for an LPG Certificate to be of any significance. The same applies to boats and caravans, don't worry I don't have a downer on catering vans /trailers as I now run one.

It is just that a lot of problem areas are created by the owner operator, I recently saw a trailer for sale with sliding glass across the serving hatch " Great because people can see you are still open as you don't need to close the hatch in bad weather", no mate you just have to leave it to the fire service to recover your life extinct body and the Police to tell your family !

That huge great chunk of fresh air in front of you is the main supply of air to you and your appliances and creates the upward draught taking products of combustion up and out of the trailer, not just there so people can see you.

Carbon monoxide is the silent killer, no taste or smell either. When the trailer manufacturer sites a vent above an urn and states "This hatch must be open before lighting gas appliances" they do so for a reason.

Some Councils do insist on one others don't, ours was going to introduce it, I had a word with the market manager and EHO and outlined above facts, they didn't bother, it would just create another paper trail for no reason.

Gas in safe hands is ultimately the gas in the operators hands, check your gas is safe yourself whether you need to by Law where you live or not, open your hatch and vent, ensure your gas bottle is fitted properly (and chained in). Happy sausages ;-)

Feb 02, 2011
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law again
by: Anonymous

I think anything or anybody who claims something is the LAW has to back it up with an actual letter of the LAW. Common sense and advisory statements are a different matter.

Feb 02, 2011
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Avoid Electric Appliances If Possible
by: David

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all you comments I can see it a real issue and concern to a lot of people.

With regards to PAT, I always recommend that you avoid this test all together by not having any electrical appliances at all.

If possible have all cooking appliances run on LPG to avoid the hassle and lack of clear guidelines. Which could really delay or bring your business to a standstill.

My catering trailer has a generator that runs LPG and it really saved me a lot of hassle.

When working on a Homebase site, health and safety came over and asked me if I had any electrical appliances to which I replied No!

They didn’t believe me at first but once I showed them that I had no small electrical appliances i.e toaster or kettle and that the generator runs off LPG they walked away.

So avoid any electrical appliances at all cost, and have a LPG test for peace of mind and to make sure that previous owner have not done a botch job.

Regards

David

Feb 02, 2011
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Re-LPG Certificates...
by: Kingsley

These are environmental issues covered by relevant laws. Mobile catering impacts on the environment in many ways.

If one council says they are required, and another claims ignorance, common sense directs that you would in the main, need to be proactive by obtaining the certificates.

Whether they are needed or not by various authorities should not be a concern or create any confusion in mind; obtaining appropriate certificates against possible harm or the likes is not only fulfilling a fundamental requirement but also being proactive.

This process will no doubt cover all grounds of your mobile catering business to forestall being caught in the web of the 'law' that could attract unavoidable sanctions.

Feb 02, 2011
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The Law?
by: Anonymous

Dear Mark,
Thanks for the imput.
What I don't quite understand though is; if there isnt a Law then how can the council suggest that you need the certificates by Law.

The councils in my area don't seem to know what the reqirements are. They have admitted that it is a grey area.

An expert in LPG law/regs from the HSE has written to me saying that he knows of no regulations concerning lpg certificates in mobile catering vans.

It seems to me that the advice is that you Should get them but it isn't a Must. It really annoys me that there are no clear guidelines and you are made to feel that you are doing something wrong if you don't get them.

Of course we want to work in a safe enviroment though, for everyone concerned.

Also my council gave me a contact (used by ncass)
for the LPG / Pat test. They said they won;t do a PAT test. It generally puts a shock of electricity through all of the equipment and it can blow everything.They said that modern uk approved catering equipment that is being sold now in the uk would fail.

They wouldn't dream of doing them. This is the company that was recommeded by my council officers through ncass.


I can appreciate that if private events want to impose rules, that is up to them, also insurers.
But should'nt there be a clear law on it?

Feb 02, 2011
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It's all about the location.
by: Mark

I too have struggled through the quagmire of legalities regarding this issue, so far without a definitive answer.

But... It seems to me that it all depends on where you intend to trade. If you are working from private land, a privatly owned industrial estate for example, you probably won't need certification.

However if you are trading from council land you do need one. Actually this is because the council will want to see your certificates (Gas and Electric) when they inspect your vehicle prior to issueing your licence to trade in their region.

So, the way I see it, for lay by work, fetes and festivals, or markets, you will need certification.

There are another two reasons for keeping up to date with your certificates:

1. Check your insurance small print, you may find that it is a requirement.

2. Resale. The value and saleability of your van or trailor are increased because the buyer knows that it meets the safety standards.

Hope this is of some help.

Mark

Jan 31, 2011
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Thankyou
by: Michelle

Dear David,

Thankyou SO MUCH for clearing this issue up. It has been a task for weeks to try and get to the bottom of it.

I have found your site very useful, answering lots of questions I have had and I really appreciate all of the members and your own input.

Thanks again

Michelle

Jan 30, 2011
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Gas Safety For Your Mobile Catering Business
by: David

Hi Michelle,

This is quite true, it's not required by law and some pitches owners don't have gas/electric certificates, but these do NOT represent the majority of mobile caterers.

The problem occurs if you intend to trade on a pitch that requires you to have electric/gas safety test certificates.

Which seems to be increasing more now days, event organisers want the reassurance that your food vehicle is safe and not a hazard to the public or yourself.

It's also in your best interest to make sure that both electric and gas appliances, safety cut off switch, pipes and other elements are safe for you (or staff) to use.

If you were to buy a catering vehicle without test certificates and then found out later that you needed them. It may be a considerable expense for you at a later stage.

Finally from experience my first catering van did not have a test certificate (didn't know about it back then) The person who I brought the van from showed me a huge burn scar on his hand, caused because the griddle he was using didn't not have a working gas safety cut off valve.

So when the wind blew out the flame the safety valve failed and did not cut off the gas, which resulted in him relighting the burner and suffering quite serious burns. Not something that anyone should have to go through.

Hope this helps

David



p.s Get my free guide on Starting a Mobile Catering Business


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