In the latest episode of NFPA Journal Podcast, host Jesse Roman speaks with NFPA engineer Jacqueline Wilmot about the fire and life safety considerations of food trucks, a rapidly growing industry with an estimated 117,000 vehicles now on the road in the U.S. While the trucks are becoming wildly popular, recent events have called into question whether there needs to be more robust fire and life safety standards and inspections for these trucks.
On July 1, 2014, in the Feltonville neighborhood of Philadelphia, a leaking propane tank on the La Parrillada Chapina food truck ignited, resulting in an explosion that sent a fireball 200 feet into the air, shook nearby buildings, and shot the propane tank 95 feet into a neighboring yard. Truck operators Olga Galdamez, 42, and her daughter, Jaylin Landaverry-Galdamez, 17, suffered third-degree burns and died three weeks later. Ten other people were injured in the blast, some critically.Throughout the country have been numerous other examples of food truck fires and propane explosions, but as of now NFPA codes and standards are silent about these truck and safety regulations.
In the Podcast, Wilmot, the NFPA staff liaison for NFPA 96, Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, talks about the problem, as well as the discussions underway at NFPA to address this issue. If you’re interested in learning even more, read the article “All Up in Our Grill,” in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, which highlights the Chicago Fire Department’s robust fire safety permitting process for food trucks, as well as takes from leading food truck organizations.