If you are running a commercial kitchen, you know very well that you are obliged to follow specific criteria in regard to how you install your equipment, who will install it, how often you should have it checked and maintained, and more. For example, your gas system and appliances should only be installed by a qualified professional such as a Gas Safe engineer, and you have to post a list of procedures on your kitchen wall so that your staff will know what to do in case of emergency. But there are many other things you can pay attention to so that you can ensure the safety of your staff and premises. Here’s what you should know about flames, ventilation, stop buttons or EIVs (emergency isolation valves), and more.
- The importance of stop buttons or EIVs (emergency isolation valves)
First of all, you should have either a stop button or an EIV (emergency isolation valve) fitted with the gas supply. You should ensure that your staff can easily access the button or valve at any time. You should also display a safety notice next to the button or the EIV in your kitchen to make sure that one of your staff can turn off the supply of gas if there is an emergency. The ideal place for the EIV or stop button would either be near the exit of your kitchen or in an outside location. Make it a point to train all your workers and staff in conducting a visual assessment or check of the appliances and system and on activating the stop button or EIV.
- Checking flames and pilot systems
If your gas appliance is working correctly, it should have a flame that is blue. Some equipment, however, is designed to generate yellow flames, but you should confirm this with the manufacturer, so you know what to expect. Most of the available gas equipment available nowadays will also come with their pilot lights and ignition systems, but if your equipment doesn’t have such, you should use the proper gas igniters – don’t try to use matches or paper to light your gas equipment. If the flame of the equipment is yellow and it should be a blue colour, this may mean that the room doesn’t have enough oxygen. Another reason for this would be that the ventilation in the kitchen isn’t enough, as experienced commercial catering engineers confirm. Yellow flames could also be evidence of debris build up on the rings of your cooker.
- Proper ventilation
You should fit all your gas appliances which produce heat and fumes with canopy hoods. The canopy hood should be at a minimum of 2 metres from the floor, and it should also extend to a minimum of 300 millimetres beyond the appliance’s edge. You should have the hood designed so that it can efficiently remove fumes produced by cooking. The hood’s goal is to minimise the spillage of smoke in the kitchen, and although windows and doors may also be a good idea, know that they aren’t considered ventilation since your staff can easily close them when it is cold or rainy. Make sure to position permanent vents in your kitchen so your staff cannot block them as well.
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