Mobile Vendors (Food Trucks)

In order to operate safely and legally, all mobile vendors that have a fuel source must be inspected and approved by Loveland Fire Rescue Authority. A fuel source includes but may not be limited to a generator and LPG (propane) container. Additionally, all cooking that produces grease vapors must have a Type I kitchen hood with an automatic suppression system.

These requirements are enforced locally and across the country, and are from the International Fire Code and NFPA standards. The term “mobile vendors” includes enclosed trucks, vans, pull-behind trailers and push carts. It also includes vendors whose operations include sales other than food.

New in 2021 is a reciprocity program that includes all fire departments in Larimer County that are inspecting food trucks, as well as three neighboring fire departments in Weld County. When a mobile vendor obtains a fire permit, the permit is accepted at all participating fire departments through Dec. 31, 2021. The vendor pays only one fee for a permit that is good at all seven participating fire departments. These fire departments joined together to make the process easier for the mobile vendors, and Larimer County is the only county in the state currently offering the fire department reciprocity.

  • Loveland Fire Rescue Authority – 970.962.2471
  • Estes Valley Fire Protection District – 970.577.0900
  • Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District – 303.833.2742
  • Front Range Fire Rescue – 970.587.4464
  • Poudre Fire Authority – 970.416.2891
  • Wellington Fire Department – 970.413.2508
  • Windsor-Severance Fire District – 970.686.2626

Permitting through LFRA is $50 and is good for the calendar year.
Complete this document and email it to Eplan-Fire@LFRA.org, along with photos of all four exterior sides of your vehicle and the interior (if it’s an enclosed trailer, van or truck). We’ll use that information to make sure we know the requirements that pertain to your operation, and then we’ll schedule an inspection of your vehicle.
Larimer County Department of Health and Environment requires inspections and approval for all food vendors. For information on those requirements, click here: https://www.larimer.org/health/safety-sanitation-programs/food-safety-program/license-plan-review-information/mobile-units

Also, most municipalities in Northern Colorado have their own permitting process, which is separate from the fire department approvals, and typically involves sales tax or business licensing. Parks and Recreation Departments often have requirements for vendors who want to operate on park property. It is the responsibility of each individual mobile vendor to know and obtain all necessary permits.

Additional approvals required in the LFRA district

Mobile vendors, or “food trucks” as they’re commonly referred to, typically have fryers, griddles, ranges, grills and appliances fueled by propane or gas generators. Leaking flammable vapors can result in fires or explosions, injuring not only the food truck operators but also customers and other mobile vendors. Fire code requirements and inspections reduce the risk for all.

In 2014, a food truck explosion in Philadelphia caused by leaking propane killed the two occupants of the truck and injured 11 nearby customers and pedestrians. The explosion was caught on security camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vem3kYD8uM

We don’t want something like this to happen in our community.

Fire permits are good for one calendar year, and must be renewed annually.
General requirements from the International Fire Code and NFPA standards can be downloaded here.
No, but you do need licenses required by the municipalities where you’ll be selling, and possibly, a county health inspection.

Cylinders are required to be requalified, or replaced every 5-12 years depending on the cylinder type, condition, and previous requalification method
(Ref. 49 CFR §§ 180.205(d) and 180.209).

The original manufacture/test date and any requalification/retest dates must be presented in a specific manner. Cylinders that are overdue for requalification must not be refilled.

If propane tanks are manufactured to ASTM Standards and built into the truck’s body making it difficult to remove, then these tanks are exempt from the DOT reinspection requirements.

Click here to download an information sheet about compressed gas cylinder requirements.

Commercial cooking operations can pose a fire-safety risk due to the combination of heat, fuel, electricity and the production of greasy vapors. In order to increase the safety of cooking operations in mobile food vendors, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) recommends that all staff undergo the following training.

Preventing Emergencies

Store cooking oils properly: Keep cooking oils in their original containers or puncture-resistant, tightly sealed containers that are labeled. Store containers in well-ventilated areas and away from combustible supplies (paper, plastic, wood), food, food preparation areas and any flame sources.

Practice good housekeeping: Store paper products, linens, boxes and food away from heat and cooking appliances. Properly dispose of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes and wooden pallets at least once a day.

Remove grease: Exhaust hoods must be cleaned regularly (at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer), as grease buildup can restrict airflow and can cause or accelerate a fire. Clean all vents and filters, interior walls and work surfaces (ranges, fryers, broilers, grills and ovens).

Discard ashes: Remove ashes from wood-burning or charcoal ovens at least once daily.

Use chemicals properly: Chemicals should be used in a well-ventilated area and mix chemicals only if it’s their intended use

During an Emergency

Learn how to use portable fire extinguishers: All mobile food vendors operating within the City of Loveland are required to install at least one Class ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in the cooking area, and cooking operations that produce greasy vapors must have a Class K extinguisher. All employees must be familiar with the location of the fire extinguisher and how to use it. There are many internet websites that offer training, such as www.fireextinguishertraining.com.

Never put water on a grease fire: Water thrown on a grease fire will cause the grease to splatter and likely spread the fire.

Prepare an emergency plan: If a fire breaks out in the food truck, staff must take control of the situation. All employees must exit the vehicle and lead customers to a location a safe distance away.

Shut down: Staff members must be trained in how to shut off propane and electrical power in the event of an emergency.

Download Free Viewer

Adobe Acrobat is required for some of the attached documents.
It can be downloaded by clicking on the icon below:

Click to download Adobe Acrobat Reader