I have teamed up with S&L Customs in Manassas to provide peace of mind for all food truck owners and customers alike: free LP gas inspections for all food truck owners! (LP stands for liquid petroleum gas)
There really is no looking the other way after hearing about the tragic Philadelphia food truck gas explosion a few weeks ago. I want to make sure that something like that never happens in DC, so I paid a visit to my friend Lee at S&L Customs to ask some questions about what went down and how to prevent it. When Lee is not building food trucks, he is a volunteer firefighter in Virginia with, literally, a binder full of various fire fighting certifications. Lee took some time out of his work day to explain to me what happened and how to prevent a food truck from experiencing such an accident. I’ll spare you the amazing detail that he was able to garner from the videos posted all over the Internet, but what I discovered was that it is really very simple to operate a safe food truck.
The gas tank that was used on the Philadelphia food truck was a backyard BBQ gas tank, and not a proper LP tank-within-a-tank rated for use on motor vehicles. The Philadelphia tank was operating properly, but it was not designed for use on a food truck and probably not located properly for when it eventually vented. Also surprising is that for the cost of two backyard BBQ tanks, one can have a proper, safe, LP tank. A few considerations need to be made during installation to allow for proper venting and electrical grounding as well as a few other safety items, but a certified LP gas technician will know all of those things (they should be able to present a certificate to you as proof – shown below).
Fortunately, Lee cares so much about safety that his shop is offering a free, no-hassle LP gas inspection for any concerned food truck owner. The S&L Customs shop is located at: 11850 Livingston Rd, Manassas, VA 20109, Suite #105 and the phone number is 703-499-7694 – just give Lee a call before you head over.
El Fuego is a poster-child for food truck safety in the District. Here is a photo of the LP tank mounted in a safe location – it’s just a little dirty as I captured the photo just before they went to the truck wash
S&L Customs certified LP gas technician certificate:
A close-up of an LP tank rated for motor vehicles: