I am just returning from a long but inspiring week at NFPA's Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. As always, the week was filled with many exciting events from educational sessions, industry receptions and gatherings, meeting with colleagues and friends from the fire protection industry, and the sprawling Expo which featured hundreds of companies from the fire and electrical safety world.
This year's conference launched several new events, all which proved to be a great success. Among those was the food truck exhibit at the new Discovery District in the Expo, where a food truck on display provided an opportunity for attendees to view the equipment and safety features of the vehicle and a chance to do a walk through mock inspection. The Discovery District provided NFPA's stakeholders with a hands on opportunity to explore some of the latest initiatives being addressed by NFPA (food trucks, data analytics, electric vehicles, robots.) NFPA's own Jacqueline Wilmot, a Fire Protection Engineer and Staff Liaison to NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, ran the food truck exhibit and led the daily scheduled mock food truck inspection. A big part of the discussion was the current work of NFPA's Technical Committees to address food truck safety, including NFPA 1, Fire Code.
The First Draft of NFPA 1 includes new language regarding mobile and temporary cooking operations. These proposed provisions include applicable requirements from NFPA 96, extracted material from NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, and additional language addressing food truck location, fire department access, vehicle separation, tents, communication, and training. Several public comments were received that seek to further refine the provisions for leak detection equipment and testing, and food truck separation.
The many attendees that I had a chance to talk to about food trucks, including the large crowd at the Annex talk, showed tremendous support for the work of the NFPA committees seeking to address this issue in their documents. Jurisdictions need guidance on how to regulate these vehicles and equipment as well as the seemingly endless events with food trucks that are popping up in cities and towns across North America. NFPA currently offers a webpage dedicated to food truck safety with free resources available for jurisdictions. Until these much needed additions to our codes and standards go into effect, this information can help to point jurisdictions in the right direction regarding food truck safety.
NFPA 1 will be holding its Second Draft meeting this October 3-4 in Milwaukee where the proposed changes will be voted on. It is hopeful that the 2018 edition of the Code will include these valuable requirements on mobile and temporary cooking operations. Judging by the level of interest at this week's Conference, our stakeholders will be excited to see it.