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Gas regulations update aims to improve equipment testing accuracy

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The latest British Standards Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations update could facilitate catering equipment appliance compliance.

Target Catering Equipment MD, David Pedrette, has welcomed this year’s release of BS 6173:2020, the latest update of the British Standards Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations for gas-fired commercial catering appliances.

The review and renewal was conducted following the release of the original British Standards Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations in 2009. Pedrette believes this update recognised that some establishments were condemned and closed unnecessarily due to equipment failing tests that were not themselves accurate.

He said: “The new regulations make compliance easier especially if you have gas-fired kitchen appliances with an extraction system which incorporates variable speed control fans for the variable ventilation needs of the kitchen.

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“Complete ventilation systems now may not need completely upgrading, provided that air quality can be risk assessed and proven to be safe by monitoring safe levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide within the kitchen environment. Therefore, also providing financial savings for catering establishments all over the UK.”

This British Standard covers the safe installation, servicing and maintenance of new and previously-used gas fired commercial catering appliances that burn second or third family gases (i.e. natural gas and LPG respectively).

BS 6173:2020 applies to catering equipment such as commercial cookers, fish and chip frying ranges, fryers, ovens, café boilers and urns, bain-marie units, tandoori ovens, kebab grills and barbecues.

Pedrette added “Here at Target we believe gas in commercial kitchens is still an issue and all electric, energy efficient kitchens are the way forward for users and operators to save money and make for a better, safer working environment.

“With electric equipment you can remove the issue of harmful by-products of combustion out of the kitchen, but with gas, a naked flame, there is always going to be a source of fire which comes with serious risks, not to mention the potential for explosions associated with faulty gas equipment.”

Tags : gasgas safetyregulationstarget catering equipment
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

1 Comment

  1. Whilst I have a great respect for David, I think his article is somewhat misleading and inaccurate in suggesting that BS6173 2020 allows kitchens that had previously been identified as unsafe, to operate. If a kitchen was unsafe prior to March 2020 when BS6173 2020 was published, then it is still unsafe today.

    BS6173 was updated to take into account regulations like IGEM UP/19 which was introduced after the last review in 2009. One of the reasons for the introduction of UP/19 was to clarify the procedures for measuring CO2 levels to monitor safe air quality which had previously been included in HSE Catering Information Sheet 23.

    David suggests that BS6173 makes compliance easier for kitchens which have variable control speed control fans, however, on the subject of ventilation BS6173 does not provide any detailed guidance but refers to BESA document DW172 which specifies that variable speed controls should only be used to accurately set the correct extraction rate and should not be accessible to kitchen operators.

    IGEM UP/19 requires air quality tests to be carried out with all appliances operating at full load so the extraction rate must cope with this demand. When referring to variable speed fans UP/19 requires the air quality tests should be carried out with the fan on its lowest setting.

    I am well aware that there are many kitchens operating with variable speed controls that are accessible and that staff may reduce the speed to reduce the noise or to stop drafts, however, if the minimum speed means that the extraction rate is below that required to ensure safe air quality when all equipment is operating the installation would be classified under the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure as either At Risk if the CO2 readings were more than 2800ppm or Immediately Dangerous if the readings were above 5000ppm. This is no doubt one of the main reasons that some older kitchens were, and still are considered unsafe.

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