In charge of a commercial kitchen?
We understand, it can be incredibly challenging. There are so many strict rules and regulations to abide by – from cleaning and disinfecting the workspace to food cross-contamination and hygiene. But one thing that should definitely be at the top of your priority list is a gas interlock system.
These are a legal requirement for commercial kitchens in the UK.
Here, our team of experts explain exactly what these devices are and why they’re so important.
What is a gas interlock system?
A gas interlock system also known as a gas interlock controller is an electronic device that manages the gas supply to your appliances. Essentially, it monitors the operation of the fan or fans in your kitchen’s ventilation system – and if those fans fail or do not work as expected, the device immediately shuts down the gas supply.
This isolates the issue and prevents a dangerous build-up of gases (including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide etc.) – maintaining a safe environment for both employees and customers.
How does a gas interlock system work?
There are two ways in which a kitchen gas interlock system can detect fan failures:
1. Differential air pressure
A switch can be used to gauge the difference in air pressure on either side of the fan. This switch can be set to a specific level of airflow – and, if the airflow drops to that level (or lower), the system will class it as a fan failure and shut off the gas supply at that point.
2. Electrical currents
Alternatively, an electrical current sensor can be used instead. This monitors the electrical current to the ventilation system’s fan – and when the current drops to a low level, it shuts off the gas solenoid valve.
Either way, the air pressure switch/current sensor is wired back to the gas interlock control panel – and kitchen equipment cannot be used until the airflow returns to a safe level.
Who needs a gas interlock system?
Any business that operates a commercial kitchen must have a gas interlock system. It’s the law.
According to British Standards (BS 6173) for the installation and maintenance of gas-fired commercial catering appliances: “It is important to make sure all natural and mechanical ventilation systems are working effectively. The installer should have fitted the appropriate interlocking system between any mechanical ventilation system and the operation of gas appliances so that failure of the system causes the gas supply to them to be shut off.”
As such, a gas interlocking system is essential if you run a catering business and have:
- a power-operated flue system for a gas appliance
- a new ventilation or extraction system
- a new gas-line pipework or kitchen layout
- any category B appliance (e.g. combi-oven, grills, griddles, fryers)
Failure to fit the system will not only compromise the health and safety of your employees, and the general public, but it could also lead to a fine, prosecution or even the closure of your kitchen.
Are gas interlock systems easy to install?
Yes – regardless of whether it is being fit in a new or existing kitchen, a gas interlock system is relatively quick and easy to install. However, to ensure it is compliant with health and safety regulations, the installation should always be carried out by a qualified electrical engineer.
Buy your gas interlock system today
Three models of the UCI GICS5120+ are currently available, including:
- an air sensing system
- a current sensing system
- a system that can monitor both air pressure and electrical current
All three meet BS6173 requirements and are manufactured to an exceptionally high quality. Yet, they’re still available for a very competitive price, ranging from £90-£125 depending on the model chosen.
If you’d like to find out more about our gas interlock systems, please feel free to get in touch at any time. Our experts are always on hand, and will happily answer your questions and advise on the best model for your specific requirements. Either give us a call on 0121 238 2795 or send an email to email@example.com and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.