Many people are surprised to learn that there aren’t any national guidelines, codes, or standards that apply to minimum fire safety for food truck exhaust fans. However, at HoodMart we think that’s all about to change. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. Let’s take a look at the history of fire safety codes to see why they might be about to change.
It’s true that the food truck industry is growing
There’s no question that the food truck industry has been growing in the past few years, but it’s important to put that into perspective. Consider that when NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, the standard for many years, was adopted, it was already the ‘40s and food trucks were already pretty popular.
The history of the food truck
One of the most famous early food trucks, Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile, was introduced in 1936 and in the ‘60s food trucks were on almost every construction site in the country. According to recent statistics, in the last five years, the food truck industry has grown by almost 10% every year. Most estimates put the number of food trucks on the roads at around 117,000 with a combine annual revenue of more than $850 million.
There are state and local codes
Of course, many states and municipalities have set up their own rules about exhaust systems for mobile food trucks, but many trucks move from one state or city to another, which makes it hard for truck drivers to ensure they’re always in compliance, no matter where they are.
A national set of guidelines may be on the way
In December of 2015, there was a proposal for a new chapter of the abovementioned NFPA 96. It was submitted for possible inclusion in the upcoming 2017 standards, and are currently awaiting review. It’s no wonder that food trucks drivers all over the country are wondering what they’ll need to do and what they’ll need to add to meet these requirements.
At HoodMart, we believe every food truck owner wants to prevent fires, create reasonable working conditions, and keep both customers and employees safe. We help make this possible. If you have questions on the equipment you currently have and how an upgrade might help, or if you’re starting from scratch and need advice from the best in the business, then we welcome you to reach out to us.