A swarm of food trucks descended on Langley on Tuesday, for the first standardized safety inspections by firefighters from across the Lower Mainland.
With food trucks becoming more popular, and moving around from site to site frequently across multiple communities in the Lower Mainland, local fire departments wanted to clear up the rules on safety for the mobile kitchens.
The Metro Fire Chiefs Association organized a food truck committee, said Pat Walker, an assistant chief of Langley Township Fire Department.
They put together a list of fire safety requirements for the truck operators, and called for a single inspection day, a “one stop shop” for the convenience of food truck operators and the fire departments.
“That saves us doing multiple inspections on multiple food trucks in multiple jurisdictions,” said Walker.
So on Tuesday morning, the food trucks and trailers began rolling into the parking lot of the Langley Events Centre (LEC).
Waiting for them were firefighters from Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Surrey, and Delta. Richmond is expected to join the group shortly.
Along with firefighters, experts from Technical Safety BC were on hand to check out electrical systems and generators over a certain size, said Walker.
The firefighters handed out lists of operational guidelines, all arranged around fire safety, the use of propane and fuel, fire extinguishers, and deep fryers.
Dozens of food trucks turned up for the inspection, which will clear them for safety in multiple jurisdictions.
“We’re well over 50,” Walker said at 12:30 p.m. Inspections were scheduled to run until 4 p.m.
Food trucks have become big business only in the last decade around Metro Vancouver. It used to be rare to see any mobile food business bigger than a hot dog cart or an ice cream truck, but the popularity in other cities drove their adoption here. Langley City now hosts an annual food truck festival in the summers in Douglas Park, and food trucks are common sights at events from the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life to the Prospera Valley Gran Fondo bike ride.