Essential guide for safe use of LPG for mobile caterers and festival goers

Tuesday 20th June 2017

As Glastonbury opens its doors to around 175,000 festival goers this week, portable LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, will be an essential ingredient for the festivities, with most of the festival’s 400 plus caterers cooking on gas. Consistent and reliable, the low carbon fuel is top choice for street food vendors and mobile caterers throughout the UK, who consume around 700,000 cylinders of LPG a year.

Many campers also rely on LPG to warm food and provide light and warmth, so its safe use has to be paramount. There is no doubt that the festival experience is amazing and, for some, a once-in-a-lifetime event which they can remember and share for years to come. Even in such a relaxed atmosphere, here are five simple rules that everyone needs to remember when catering with gas or having a barbecue. 

  • Use in well ventilated areas - Carbon monoxide poisoning has tragically taken the lives of campers who have taken barbecues into tents because it is raining and, whether gas or charcoal, bringing a barbecue into an enclosed space is a bad idea and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Follow the instructions - All portable cylinders, canisters and gas appliances come with instructions - read them! And, not by matchlight!! Don't try and improvise a solution, such as a hose or connector, if you don't have the right kit with you.
  • Beware of using LPG cooking appliances for warmth - The British summer can be a mixed bag when it comes to the weather, so beware of having cooking hobs too close to tents, awnings, flags or clothing that may catch fire. As with the barbecue example above, don't bring LPG cookers inside for warmth and risk carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Store safely - Store cylinders upright, in a stable, secure and well-ventilated place where they are not a trip hazard. Make sure valves on bottled gas are turned to ‘off' when cylinders are not in use and always keep LPG containers away from heat sources such as camp fires.
  • Think of the environment - Take empty cylinders and canisters away with you when you leave and return them to the retailer for recycling.

For more detailed safety guidance including Codes of Practice please click on the links.   

LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, is the perfect choice of fuel for outside caterers, giving the benefits of gas wherever it is needed and more than 10,000 caterers use it to help make the magic happen at festivals, street food markets and events.

The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) works closely with UKLPG on developing safe practices and also runs training courses on LPG safety for caterers - more information is available on its website.

By Rob Shuttleworth, UKLPG Chief Executive

The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK