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.
Mobile and temporary cooking is addressed in Section 50.7 of the 2018 edition of NFPA 1, Fire Code, and Adoptable Annex B of the 2017 edition of NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations.
The purpose of placing the language in Annex B of NFPA 96 was to allow for the jurisdictions who do not currently adopt/enforce NFPA 96 to adopt solely this annex to address mobile/temporary cooking specifically.
What can your jurisdiction do to address the fire hazards on food trucks?
Just like any jurisdiction, each one has its own set of requirements. For example, 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. In Indiana, state law bans fire departments from even inspecting food trucks, because they are considered vehicles.
Do you want to see your jurisdiction’s fire safety requirements for food trucks on NFPA’s website? Submit your jurisdiction and information.
- NFPA podcast on mobile food trucks
NFPA Journal's Jesse Roman speaks to Jacqueline Wilmot, NFPA's Staff Liaison for NFPA 96
- NFPA Journal article - "All Up in Our Grill"
by Jesse Roman, May/June 2015
- Presentation from NFPA's 2015 Conference & Expo - Mobile Food Truck Regulation: Developing a Recipe for Success
Ronald Farr, Lead Regulatory Engineer, UL; R.T. Leicht, Chief Protection Specialist, State of Delaware; and Jacqueline Wilmot, NFPA Fire Protection Engineer
- WTCM radio interview in Traverse City, MI - Discussion of food trucks, and the standards of safety NFPA is working to create around these mobile eateries
Meredith Hawes, NFPA Public Education Regional Specialist, Jacqueline Wilmot, NFPA Fire Protection Engineer; and Chief Jim Tuller, Traverse City Fire Department
- City of Chicago fire safety permit consultant packet for mobile food vehicles (PDF)
- Food truck operation awareness flyer (PDF, 439 KB) - U.S. Department of Transportation
Requalification Guidance for Propane Cylinders (PDF) - U.S. Department of Transportation
In this video, National Geographic® talks about the growing popularity of food trucks.
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