Are gas-powered outdoor heaters, radiant heaters, patio heaters prohibited in the restaurant and hospitality industry?
Devices operated with LPG, such as outdoor heaters, radiant heaters or patio heaters, are not generally prohibited for hospitality, bars and pubs; it depends on the regulations for the respective city or municipality. However, coronavirus might cause this to change (as at September 2020).
Help for hospitality
In order to support the suffering hospitality sector, politicians, stakeholders and associations are currently discussing about allowing outdoor heaters, radiant heaters and patio heaters operated using LPG in outdoor areas until further notice, where they are currently prohibited.
This means that, for example, restaurants, bars and pubs may use the devices to make their outdoor areas a bit more comfortable for their guests. The heaters provide good heat, for example, in autumn as the days gradually get cooler.
More turnover thanks to gas heaters
This means that hospitality businesses can have more trade in their outdoor areas for longer, which will lead to more sales. An important source of revenue, as almost all companies have lost usable space indoors because of the hygiene regulations.
Benefits for guests
The guests also benefit: There is more capacity available; tables in favourite pubs are not fully booked for weeks on end. In addition, there are many who prefer to enjoy food, a drink or spending a coffee break with friends in the fresh air. This is possible thanks to heating equipment such as outdoor heaters, radiant heaters or patio heaters, because guests are supplied with comfortable heat when the outside temperatures fall.
Checking existing prohibitions
Before now, cities have prohibited the operation of these heaters in the commercial sector, as they are deemed to be hazardous to the environment. In contrast to this, the operation of gas heaters and similar devices by private individuals is virtually unrestricted.
And here comes the “But”: Of course, operators must continue to observe the basic rules for the safe handling of gas heaters – both for commercial and private use:
Now, we summarise important points from this article:
- Do not operate gas heaters in enclosed rooms – check the operating manual!
- Pressure reducers (pressure regulators), hose assemblies and accessories must meet the regulatory requirements of the application.
- Observe replacement periods!
- Excess flow devices may be mandatory!
- Under certain circumstances, the gas anti-tilt device is mandatory for commercial and private use!
You will find detailed information in this article:
Conclusion + two recommendations
Due to the coronavirus and its consequences for the hospitality sector, there is the possibility that the existing ban on gas heaters in the commercial sector might be cancelled temporarily. Firstly, hospitality businesses benefit from this as well as their guests.
Recommendation 1: If you, as a business owner, are planning to use a gas heater, please contact your local or city administration beforehand to find out whether you are allowed to do this at all. You can either do your research online or pick up the phone and call the responsible department.
Recommendation 2: Despite the easing of restrictions, hospitality business owners must ensure safe operation of the LPG systems. These include, in particular, compliance with the regulatory requirements and the use of correct system components such as pressure reducers, gas hoses, excess flow devices or gas anti-tilt devices.