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Food truck safety

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Food trucks have been gaining popularity in recent years, and until recently, there were no NFPA codes, standards, or guidelines to provide the minimum fire safety requirements. 

After the 2014 Philadelphia food truck explosion killed a mother and daughter, the International Fire Marshals Association (IFMA) developed a task group to address this issue and submitted public input to NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, and NFPA 1, Fire Code

In February, the 2017 edition of NFPA 96 was released. This edition now addresses the minimum fire safety requirements for mobile/temporary cooking in new Annex Chapter B. The purpose of placing the language in a normative annex was to allow for the jurisdictions who do not currently adopt/enforce NFPA 96 to adopt solely this normative annex (without having to adopt the rest of NFPA 96) if that jurisdiction wanted to address mobile/temporary cooking specifically.

Latest update on NFPA 1

NFPA 1 is currently in the revision cycle process for the development of the 2018 edition of the Code. The Second Draft Report is posted and allows the public the opportunity to view the language the Technical Committee developed for Mobile and Temporary Cooking Operations. See Section 50.7. Official language will be ready by the end of the summer in 2017.


So, what is currently being done to address the fire hazards on food trucks?

Just like any jurisdiction, each one has its own set of requirements. For example, on one end of the spectrum, the City of Rochester, NY requires at all mobile food vehicles with propane to have at least one person trained in handling and exchanging propane tanks on board at all times. This person must complete a fire safety course provided by the Rochester Fire Department to be certified. On the other side of that spectrum, in Indiana, state law bans fire departments from even inspecting food trucks, because they are considered vehicles. 

You want to see your jurisdiction’s fire safety requirements for food trucks on NFPA’s website? Submit your jurisdiction and information

Additional information


In this video, National Geographic® talks about the growing popularity of food trucks.

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