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Unsafe Fueling

Safety is our major concern, and the public should only fuel-up at approved facilities such as service stations or marinas with public access

Duke Munroe - Chief Petroleum Inspector

Published 12th July 2016, 4:52pm

Unsafe Fueling Warning

Motorists are reminded that it is unsafe, and illegal, to fuel their private motor vehicles directly from mobile fuel trucks, otherwise known as road tank-wagons (RTWs).

This dangerous practice continues to occur at unsafe and unapproved locations across the territory such as at private homes, car parks and roadsides.

Appealing to the motoring public, officials from the Petroleum Inspectorate Department and the Ministry responsible for Infrastructure note that roadside fuelling is very risky. It exposes other motorists and residents to danger, along with possible adverse impacts on properties and the environment.

"We cannot overemphasize that fuelling in unapproved locations is an inherently dangerous practice that puts lives, property and the environment, at risk," said Chief Petroleum Officer Duke Munroe. "Among other factors, these RTWs are not ordinarily fitted with the capacity to handle spills or other accidents."

These mobile operators are licensed to dispense both gasoline and diesel generally to industrial and commercial consumers with storage tanks of varying sizes, and also equipment and machinery which cannot typically be fuelled at a fuel retail outlet.

"While both of these fuels are dangerous, gasoline is extremely hazardous. If not handled properly in a controlled and regulated area, the consequences can be dire", Mr Munroe added.

Mobile fuelling vehicles require basic measures including hazard warning signs, specific fire extinguishers, and a designated (cordoned) area to fuel equipment/vehicles. Furthermore, drivers must be trained in the proper operation of the vehicles, including emergency and safety procedures.

Even with these precautions, mobile fuelling is only allowed under certain exceptional circumstances, and under specific requirements and appropriate procedures.

For instance, fuelling from fuel trucks into motor vehicles in the ‘open’ is permitted at commercial, industrial, manufacturing or Governmental locations, only in relation to their own business – not as a public service. Even so, operators must comply with the relevant provisions under National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes, and other requirements of the Petroleum Inspectorate.

In controlled environments such as at the gas stations, staff are trained to carry out automobile fuelling. Furthermore, there is a heightened level of safety awareness, signs, warnings and other precautions which allow fuelling to be carried out relatively incident-free under normal circumstances.

"Safety is our major concern, and the public should only fuel-up at approved facilities such as service stations or marinas with public access," Mr. Munroe emphasized. "We implore the public's cooperation in this regard."

Anyone who wishes to report illegal activities may anonymously call 911, and provide details of vehicles involved, location and time.