Discuss What constitutes a Commercial Appliance and thus a Commercial Kitchen? in the Gas Engineers Forum area at Plumbers Forums

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We run a community village hall and have a large kitchen provided for the use of hirers. This includes a Lincat SLR9 gas cooker which I believe is a 23.8Kw appliance with all six burners and oven on max. This was installed some 10 years ago and has passed all subsequent Gas Safety inspections as part of the boiler(s) annual check.
We have decided to get the oven serviced and checked over as part of normal schedule and the company approached to do the service has asked if the cooker has an "extraction canopy above it and an interlock system to meet current gas safety regulations?"
We do have an extractor hood, a Franke Quadra FQD907XS installed at the same time as the cooker but not an interlock system only a manual isolation valve in the adjacent cupboard.
My questions therefore are:-
1) What constitutes a commercial appliance. Is it the gas rating or its application?
2) Are updates to Gas Safety Regulations retrospective. i.e. do the revisions to the regs apply to existing installations without an alteration being made to the installation, as with Building Regulations?
We are not a commercial kitchen in the sense of use like a school kitchen, factory canteen or restaurant where the kitchen is in use on a regular basis. The oven only generally gets used when a caterer uses it to heat up a pre-prepared meal for a wedding reception or our Community Brunches and Lunches where they fry up sausages and bacon for rolls or heat a pre prepared meal.

I am not really sure how a gas interlock system works but assume in principle they monitor if the fan is running and if not disconnect the gas by use of a solenoid valve?? Does it require a specific type of overhead fan which our existing Franke Quadra does not provide?
We don't want to shirk our responsibilities but neither do we want to spend out hundreds or even thousands installing an interlock system when it is not required. However I am aware everyone is looking for business!!
Any advice gratefully received
 
What constitutes a commercial appliance is how the manufacturers class it I suppose i.e. its intended use. The appliance you have in my opinion is a commercial range cooker but feel free to ask Lincat how they class it.

The regulations regarding a gas interlock have been in place a long time now for new installations and with this being a commercial appliance, it should have been installed to commercial regulations at the time in my opinion. It is after all a flue less appliance running at 35.5 Kw. The regulations are not retrospective for type A appliances fitted before 2001, so long as they are safe and in line with IGEM/UP/19. There is a lot more to this subject of course. Commercial catering ventilation is the most complicated area of my work and each installation must be taken on its own merits. I have not seen this job obviously. The first visit should always include a risk assessment and atmosphere tests in my opinion.

In all cases for a new installation the extract shall be interlocked whether it is a canopy, mechanical ventilation or complete kitchen ventilation. Your extraction hood can no doubt be fitted with an interlock system and yes, there is also a solenoid on the gas supply. There should be provision of incoming air to give the correct negative pressures. That can be natural or mechanical.

My advice is to let the 'approached' (who have asked the right question), visit to assess the kitchen, the installation and ventilation. They will be able to give you more information having seen it.

Having the interlock installed is safer than not doing and it probably (not seen it) should be there anyway. It isn't normally a major expense to be honest. It would normally be sited next to the speed control for the fan.

Good news is that it will last a lot longer than a domestic range would.
 
What constitutes a commercial appliance is how the manufacturers class it I suppose i.e. its intended use. The appliance you have in my opinion is a commercial range cooker but feel free to ask Lincat how they class it.

The regulations regarding a gas interlock have been in place a long time now for new installations and with this being a commercial appliance, it should have been installed to commercial regulations at the time in my opinion. It is after all a flue less appliance running at 35.5 Kw. The regulations are not retrospective for type A appliances fitted before 2001, so long as they are safe and in line with IGEM/UP/19. There is a lot more to this subject of course. Commercial catering ventilation is the most complicated area of my work and each installation must be taken on its own merits. I have not seen this job obviously. The first visit should always include a risk assessment and atmosphere tests in my opinion.

In all cases for a new installation the extract shall be interlocked whether it is a canopy, mechanical ventilation or complete kitchen ventilation. Your extraction hood can no doubt be fitted with an interlock system and yes, there is also a solenoid on the gas supply. There should be provision of incoming air to give the correct negative pressures. That can be natural or mechanical.

My advice is to let the 'approached' (who have asked the right question), visit to assess the kitchen, the installation and ventilation. They will be able to give you more information having seen it.

Having the interlock installed is safer than not doing and it probably (not seen it) should be there anyway. It isn't normally a major expense to be honest. It would normally be sited next to the speed control for the fan.

Good news is that it will last a lot longer than a domestic range would.
Many thanks @Last Plumber.
If I wrote to Gas Safe Register for an interpretation would they do so? We have had a Gas Safety engineer check the system previously and this did not come up on the last inspection.
 
Many thanks @Last Plumber.
If I wrote to Gas Safe Register for an interpretation would they do so? We have had a Gas Safety engineer check the system previously and this did not come up on the last inspection.
Maybe. I would see what the engineer says first. I don't think it will be anything to worry about. It isn't your fault that this hasn't raised its head before so you can only do the right thing based on advice you're given can't you? You have requested a gas safety inspection before this, so you have attempted to stay on the right side obviously.

If you wish to write to someone you could use Gas Safe or IGEM (institute of gas engineers and managers). They are both generally quite helpful in their technical departments.

Was the previous gas safety engineer commercially qualified? I don't know if the installation is commercial size but if it is you would need one and that appliance I would class as commercial anyway so you would be better with someone qualified in that area.

Maybe that's why this engineer has asked about interlocks?
 
I’m not trying to scare you to death here. But whatever any of us say on here or even any other gas companies who inspect the property, I highly recommend you getting a professional documented assessment completed by a recognised body.

I would contact for advice/arrange an inspection by the food safety agency. Then get their findings documented.

I say this, because I believe the fsa general guidelines state that if a kitchen such as yours (in a community hall, its specifically mentioned), prepares high risk food (hot food, fried etc) at least once a month, then you need to register with them. They will inspect.

Also, as different people use the kitchen, wedding caterers etc, the kitchen maybe deemed commercial. This doesn’t mean you suddenly need a full upgrade to strictly adhere to the regs like a restaurant kitchen, but you need to show that you have assessed and managed the risks.

Even if you’re not directly supplying or cooking the food (like the wedding caterers), you’re still responsible to ensure that food safety is being met and that the wedding caterers are competent/qualified.

You need to ensure that basic commercial kitchen practices are being followed in terms of nonslip floors/fire precautions/training of emergency shut offs.

You will need documentation.

Without the above if one of the wedding caters were to cause a fire and there was damage which needed to be repaired through your insurance company, without the above documented, the insurance company would likely refuse your claim.

So I guess the point I’m making, is even if you’re told by a gas engineer that he does not deem the kitchen as commercial, he highly likely does not have the experience or training to deem what other aspects are required.

Looking at the kitchen and situation in the most basic form.

Could be classed as a domestic kitchen? No.

Is it only used by yourself and family members? No.

Does it supply food to members of the public? Yes.

Does it have a domestic or professional gas appliance? Professional.

Just those answers would would make it quite easy to classify it as a commercial kitchen and if you didn’t have commercial insurance, it would be easy for the insurance company to refuse a claim.

Anyways, they’re my thoughts. It’s getting late. I hope that helps.
 
I’m not trying to scare you to death here. But whatever any of us say on here or even any other gas companies who inspect the property, I highly recommend you getting a professional documented assessment completed by a recognised body.

I would contact for advice/arrange an inspection by the food safety agency. Then get their findings documented.

I say this, because I believe the fsa general guidelines state that if a kitchen such as yours (in a community hall, its specifically mentioned), prepares high risk food (hot food, fried etc) at least once a month, then you need to register with them. They will inspect.

Also, as different people use the kitchen, wedding caterers etc, the kitchen maybe deemed commercial. This doesn’t mean you suddenly need a full upgrade to strictly adhere to the regs like a restaurant kitchen, but you need to show that you have assessed and managed the risks.

Even if you’re not directly supplying or cooking the food (like the wedding caterers), you’re still responsible to ensure that food safety is being met and that the wedding caterers are competent/qualified.

You need to ensure that basic commercial kitchen practices are being followed in terms of nonslip floors/fire precautions/training of emergency shut offs.

You will need documentation.

Without the above if one of the wedding caters were to cause a fire and there was damage which needed to be repaired through your insurance company, without the above documented, the insurance company would likely refuse your claim.

So I guess the point I’m making, is even if you’re told by a gas engineer that he does not deem the kitchen as commercial, he highly likely does not have the experience or training to deem what other aspects are required.

Looking at the kitchen and situation in the most basic form.

Could be classed as a domestic kitchen? No.

Is it only used by yourself and family members? No.

Does it supply food to members of the public? Yes.

Does it have a domestic or professional gas appliance? Professional.

Just those answers would would make it quite easy to classify it as a commercial kitchen and if you didn’t have commercial insurance, it would be easy for the insurance company to refuse a claim.

Anyways, they’re my thoughts. It’s getting late. I hope that helps.
Many thanks for the reply @Timmy D thats a sensible suggestion. We did have the local authority out many years ago and they concluded it did not meet the requirements to have a food standards certificate or require hirers to have qualifications but things change and your suggestion of a risk assessment seems sensible approach. As it happens I read too much into the question we were asked about a gas interlock system. Evidentially the company servicing the Oven were only ascertaining if they needed to send a Commercial qualified Gas Safe Engineer if there was an interlock.
 
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