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Friday, December 9, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFire Service Cautions Against Potential Fire Hazards at Service Stations

Fire Service Cautions Against Potential Fire Hazards at Service Stations

V.I. Fire Service Director Steve Brow issued a word of caution to gas station owners, employees and the general public about potential fire hazards and unsafe practices recently observed at several local service stations.

Fuel station owners, employees, and the general public are reminded that smoking materials, including matches and lighters, should not be used within 20 feet (six meters) of any area used for fueling, servicing fuel systems for internal combustion engines, or receiving or dispensing of Class 1 liquids. Class 1 liquids are defined as any liquid having a flash point of less than one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (100º F), and includes gasoline, naphtha and associated petroleum products. Gas station owners are required, by law, to post conspicuous and legible signs prohibiting smoking within the sight of customers being served, according to a press release issued Monday by the V.I. Fire Service.

The motors of all equipment being fueled should be shut off during the fueling operation, except for emergency generators or pumps, where continuing operation is essential. Gas pumps and stations are to be closed while gasoline tankers are refilling gas station tanks. Gasoline produces vapors that are easily ignitable. Additionally, gasoline vapor is heavier than air and consequentially spreads low at ground level. Potentially dangerous conditions are created when gasoline tankers are refilling the station’s tanks while customers are simultaneously permitted to pump gas within the proximity of varied heat sources such as engines and electrical parts.

“In order to ensure the continuing safety of service station employees, customers and the general public, it is the responsibility of each service station to make sure that these regulations are properly complied with at all times,” Brow said.

Persons observed violating these regulations could face both a monetary fine and imprisonment.

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