Ask a gas safety officer: Portable structures, food trucks and construction heaters

What inspection stickers are affixed to food trucks being inspected for gas appliances? What codes are applied?

Food trucks, trailers, and carts in BC are required to have the installation of any gas appliances performed under a gas installation permit obtained by a licensed gas contractor or have the appropriate certification (which depending on whether they fit the definition of a cart or a truck or trailer.)

  • Food carts, without four walls and a roof, which fit within the scope of ANSI Z83.11-2016 CSA 1.8-2016 must be certified by an accredited certification agency and bear a certification marking as evidence of certification.
  • Food trucks and trailers, with four walls and a roof, which do not fit into a standard require a gas installation permit and must be inspected by Technical Safety BC. Once the on-site final inspection has passed a Record of Installation Permit decal will be affixed by the safety officer.

Codes applied are the B149.1-2015 for piping and appliance installations, B149.2-2015 for sections relating to propane, and B149.5-2015 for mounting of containers on highway vehicles.

The process to have a mobile outdoor food service unit approved and decaled is as follows:

  • a licensed contractor must take out a Commercial Installation permit for the installation of the fuel system and appliances,
  • contractor must request inspections at each stage of construction of the unit, and, once complete,
  • a safety officer performs an assessment of the installation and places a decal on the vehicle, provided the assessment is passed.

The decal is good for the life of the vehicle provided there are no changes to the gas system or appliances. If any changes are made, the decal is then void and a new permit process would be required to have a new decal applied to the unit.

See the following directives for detailed guidance. Note that the Product Approval decals were used for this purpose up to November 2017 and, since then, the new Record of Installation permit decal has been put in place.

What are the permitting requirements for the installation of new portable classrooms? The rating plate on the modular home has a certification marking on it referencing a CSA A277 standard and the National Building code.

The CSA A277 Standard is a quality control standard for the certification of factory built pre-fabricated structures. This standard by itself is not a construction standard, but a method of ensuring compliance to specified codes or standards such as the National Building Code, National Plumbing Code, and the B149.1 Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code, throughout construction.

The CSA A277 standard stipulates that the manufacturer must indicate on the specification sheets for the structure, and on the rating label, which codes or standards the structure was built to. In order to determine what the permitting requirements are, you must determine what parts of the gas system, if any, were included in the certification.

If the B149.1 Natural Gas and Propane Code is one of the codes referenced in the specifications for the structure and all parts of the gas system and equipment are included in the specification sheets, a “Connection of gas piping to a new or used certified mobile building with existing appliances” permit is required.  If the B149.1 code is not referenced in the specification sheet, a full Installation permit is required for all parts of the gas system or equipment within the structure.

For more guidance, see Directive: Requirements for Connection of fuel supply to mobile units, manufactured housing and recreational vehicles

We need to use some small-mid size propane heaters on a construction site. Is there a specific BC or Canadian requirement for certification to connect portable propane cylinders to the actual heaters? This does not refer to building the connection, but just using the existing connection devices to connect the portable tanks to the heaters.

Provided the heaters that you are using are certified portable construction heaters, with the hoses and regulators that attach directly to an individual portable propane cylinder. You do not have to be a gas fitter to connect or use the units.
Important: A person must not use a portable heater for temporary heating unless the heater bears a current Technical Safety BC temporary heater decal, valid for two years, and applied by a gas fitter certifying as to its safety and operation.

The manufacturer’s installation instructions outline the clearances that must be complied with from the heater to combustible material, and from the heater to the propane cylinder. If the units have been altered at all, or are being connected in any other way, other than stipulated in the instructions, a gas fitter would be required to perform the installation under an appropriate permit. As well, if the units are being connected to a venting system they would require a gas fitter to perform the installation under a permit.

If the units are rental units there are regulatory requirements of the rental company to instruct the users in the installation, use, and care of the units and the propane cylinders.

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