The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) led a task force, dubbed “Operation Safety,” that consisted of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Virgin Islands Fire Service (VIFS). The department will be visiting every fueling station on St. Croix to gather information.
The team’s mission is to determine whether or not a food vendor exists on a fueling station’s premises or within close proximity. If a mobile vendor exists and flames are used to prepare its food, the agencies will take measurements from the mobile vendor’s property to check each source of potential vapor. When the fact-finding is concluded, the task force shall regroup to determine which mobile vendor has to cease and desist its operation in the interest of public safety.
As consumers, residents regularly visit a fuel station to fill up their vehicles or to purchase a newspaper, unaware of the dangers of gasoline. Gasoline is dangerous because it is highly volatile. The fumes are capable of ignition up to12 feet away from a pooled source. It can float on water and may spread long distances, making ignition and flash-back possible. Gasoline may ignite from a nearby spark, flame or even static electricity and become a ‘fireball’ with a temperature of 15,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to fumes, gasoline also produces ignitable vapors that are three to four times heavier than air and can travel for great distances along the ground. Visit Gasoline Safety at https://www.cob.org/services/safety/education/Pages/gasoline.aspx
Operation Safety is a pro-active measure to ensure that the public is protected from a potential disaster,” said DLCA Commissioner-nominee Richard T. Evangelista. “During the operation, each participating department shall also conduct a routine inspection of each fuel service station. I thank our sister agencies, DOH and VIFS, for making the time and assisting DLCA with this initiative by educating before regulating.”
Operation Safety will continue in the St. Thomas-St. John District in the near future.
Consumers or merchants with questions may contact the DLCA Office of the Commissioner on St. Croix at 713-3522, on St. Thomas at 714-3522 or on St. John at 693-8036. For consumer related issues email DLCA at at [email protected]