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New fire safety regulations for mobile food vendors in Montana

New fire safety regulations for mobile food vendors in Montana
Amariz Rodriguez
Posted at 1:14 PM, Mar 11, 2024

GREAT FALLS — In the video above, Paul Sanchez reports on new fire safety requirements for all mobile food vendors and temporary cooking operations in Montana. Click here for more information, or call Great Falls Fire Rescue at 406-727-8070.

Here is the transcript provided by Paul Sanchez:

New fire safety requirements are being implemented for all food vendors and temporary cooking operations in the state of Montana and the deadline is vastly approaching.

Mike McIntosh the Asst. Chief of Prevention for the Great Falls Fire and Rescue says the state of Montana has adopted the International Fire Code. And for years and years and years, we were in the 2012 edition of the Fire Code. In 2018, the fire code updated the requirements for mobile food vendors and temporary cooking operations to require suppression systems for anything that produces a grease laden vapor. The state of Montana just recently adopted the new version of the code, so the 2021 version of the code. And with that, the new requirements are being put into place come May 1st of this year. This is going to be a big change for a lot of the vendors. Unfortunately, it could be quite a big expense for a lot of them to put these suppression systems in.

Amariz Rodriguez co-owner of Tacos El Valle shares we all understand that having a fire suppression system is definitely a safety for not only the food truck owners, but I think also for the public of they want us to keep, you know, selling. So I think it is a definitely a safety precaution that we should have already had, maybe even. But I think just as a small business owner, you know, we do have to run the food truck in order to make some money. I did some research and I think one of the cheapest suppression systems that I seen was about $3,500.

For small business owners, this will be a big change to their operation and a very costly expense in their yearly budget.

Rodriguez says I have to run my food truck in order to come up with the money, which thankfully we do have until May 1st to to put that all into play. And so I'm hoping that we can work a little bit and come up with the money and get it all installed.

For the safety of the customers, the local food trucks and temporary cooking operations. A suppression system unit is needed suitable for use over their grease, limited vapor producing equipment and the deadline is May 1st.