Making LPG Patio Heater Hire Easier

LPG Patio Heaters are a great way to keep outside areas warm. Find out from this blog post what Expo Hire has done to make hiring patio heaters as easy as possible

Understanding patio heater hire has been a steep learning curve for us at Expo Hire. There are many different kinds of patio heaters out there in the event hire market, and it didn't take us long to realise that having the right kind was absolutely key to having happy customers. Our experiences led us to making the decision to design our own specifications so we can truly offer the best solution. We've put this blog post together to share with you the lessons we learned.

Getting started

Most patio heaters are made to similar sorts of designs, with event hire companies in general offering the same kind of range that we do at Expo Hire. As much as we like to think we're innovators and pioneers in the field of event hire, none of us are smart enough to be able to design a completely new style of patio heater from the mushroom and pyramid styles we have on offer.

That being said, one of the things we understood quickly from hiring out patio heaters is the difficulties some customers had with getting them started.  We're very aware that safety has to be forefront when using LPG equipment; however it's also important for us as a business that equipment like patio heaters is accessible for all customers and we came to realise that when we sourced new patio heaters, we needed a better solution.

Our new patio heaters all come with piezoelectric ignition, which makes them much easier to light - even for a customer with less experience with this kind of equipment. Piezo ignition is essentially a button which has a small spring-loaded hammer within it. When pushed, the hammer hits a PZT crystal, which causes it to change shape and creates a high voltage spark which then ignites the LPG being fed into the burner. This means no matches or naked flames are required, making the patio heater much safer to use.

Getting Moving

One of the other chief problems we have had with patio heaters is actually getting them to customers. Patio heaters are tall pieces of equipment and feature an aluminium "hat" on the top to reflect heat downwards where it is needed. Unfortunately, many patio heaters were so tall we had no choice but to remove the hats when transporting patio heaters, meaning it took longer to load and unload and making it more difficult for us to serve as many customers per day as we'd like to. We also found that the glass tubes in pyramid patio heaters could be very fragile, meaning we had to dismantle them while in transit to ensure that they reached customers without damage.

When bringing in our new range of patio heaters, we made conscious decisions to ensure that our new range had solutions to both of these problems. Our patio heaters are now a tiny bit shorter than they used to be, ensuring that we can load them into our vans without need for dismantling them, making delivery a much smoother experience. We also specified that the glass tubes in our pyramid patio heaters to be made of much stronger glass so we could transport them without fear of breaking.

Being Safe

As a responsible hire company, we're very much aware of our obligations when it comes to LPG equipment. All of our patio heaters are regularly checked and serviced by a Gas Safe engineer, who certifies them as being safe to use. We make those certificates available to customers when required, once equipment has been serviced and allocated to an order. Our warehouse staff are also vigilant in checking LPG equipment prior to it being sent out to ensure everything is as it should be.

All of our LPG patio heaters are supplied with a 1.2m hose, regulator and a standard bayonet connector. We also can supply LPG bottles and spanners so our customers can be sure that they have everything they need to get their patio heater started. We understand that some customers will have their own gas bottles that they may wish to use; this is absolutely fine but it's imperative that customers check that the bottle they have is the right size, is the right type of gas and has the right connector. We've had the unfortunate situation more than once when we've delivered a patio heater only to have a customer call us because they didn't have the right kind of gas bottle.

Likewise, as much as we try to help our customers, our drivers are not allowed to connect LPG equipment. We have tried our hardest to make our patio heaters as easy to use and connect as possible, but there has to be some level of responsibility from a hirer that they can use a piece of equipment that they have hired. If a customer feels uncomfortable with attaching a piece of LPG equipment our advice is always to seek the services of a Gas Safe engineer.

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