A commercial kitchen is a high risk area. In fact the potential hazards are everywhere. This makes safety a priority when establishing a commercial kitchen. Considering most commercial kitchens in Kenya use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking. LPG is highly flammable thus posing a risk in the kitchen if not properly installed. Using LPG becomes an added risk in the kitchen. In this light, the inspectorate has set standards for LPG piping in line with safety measures in commercial kitchens. They enforced the standards through regular safety inspections visits.
Here are some of the safety tips to consider when piping LPG in your kitchen.
Quality is king
- Genuine Products
First and foremost, the market is flooded with counterfeit products for LPG piping fittings. Counterfeit fittings are unsafe and have a higher risk of causing explosions. This ranges from refilling gas cylinders, gas regulators and piping fittings used in LPG installation. In this view, purchase your gas fittings from reputable vendors.
It may cost you more for quality products but it will serve you longer. Hence value for money. Most importantly it is safer for your commercial operations. For LPG piping, genuine products are highly recommended for safety.
- Equipment VS Work
Sometimes we overload kitchen equipment by giving it more work than it can handle. This may result to overheating and fire outbreak. Purchase heavy duty equipment to handle equivalent work. Otherwise, stretching the equipment beyond its capacity could lead to more damage or even cause a fire. Therefore, match the equipment in line with your operations.
Also note that copper pipe is recommended when it comes to commercial LPG piping or plumbing. It is durable and not easily dammaged. However, you have to firmly secure the copper pipe with clips to prevent gas leakage.
- Competent contractors
Lastly, Faulty gas plumbing is downright hazardous. This may result in redoing the gas plumbing all over to correct the mistake done. Do your background check before engaging the contractor.
LPG piping safety measures
- Kitchen layout
A well planned kitchen ensures proper LPG piping and safety in a commercial kitchen. Before setting up the kitchen, take time to plan the layout/ arrangement of the kitchen. Also, talk to your contractor on the best way to arrange the kitchen for safety purposes.
Arrange the kitchen following a sequence – preparation, actual cooking and serving area. The gas plumbing will follow this sequence. Therefore, this makes the LPG piping easy and increases safety in commercial kitchens, no crisscrossing pipes with multiple gas inlets.
- Safe installation
In commercial kitchens use various cooking equipment at the same time. The equipment may be both electrical of gas. For safe installation, have the gas manifolds installed since they regulate the gas supply to the various equipment. In case of a fire, shut the gas supply from the gas manifold.
For commercial kitchens, manifolds are essential for LPG piping and safety
- Gas cage:
The gas cylinders are required to be safely secured outside the commercial kitchen. In case of an explosion, the seriousness of the explosion will be less. Remember that LPG is in liquid form when in the cylinder but it converts to gas when released. The conversion process involves pressure making it highly flammable. Refer to the link on characteristics of LPG https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquefied_petroleum_gas
- Test equipment
Checking/ testing LPG piping heightens safety in commercial kitchens and that the equipment is working well. The checks helps to ensure that there is no leakage.
- Handover training.
One way to achieve this, you can have the contractors have a handover ceremony. In such a meeting, they will walk the kitchen staff/ team on how to handle the equipment. Hence limit human factor in accidents.
In case you have any questions, feel free, comment, we are more than happy to answer. Have a safe day in the kitchen, wont you?