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Garages - Fuel Safety

What should I do when receiving fuel from the delivery truck?

  • Do not allow smoking, flames, or other sources of ignition near the fuel storage and handling areas. Gas vapours are heavier than air and will drift downward from the source. It is the vapour, not the liquid, which burns.
  • Follow safety recommendations of your fuel supplier during fuel delivery. Report fuel spills in accordance with regulations.
  • Use absorbent materials to clean up and prevent the spill from spreading.
  • Position the fuel delivery truck so that it does not interfere with the movement of other vehicles.
  • Make sure that fuels are delivered into the correct tank.
  • Check the levels in the tank to determine quantity needed before receiving commercial delivery.
  • Check the area around the vents of the receiving tanks for possible ignition sources.
  • Observe the vents during delivery for proper operation. Stop delivery if fuel is being ejected.
  • Have the driver stay near the truck flow valve while the fuel is flowing into the storage tank in case of the need for emergency shut-off.
  • Reinstall the fill and gauge caps.
  • Mark gauge and fill caps clearly to indicate the fuel type.
  • Open caps only during filling and gauging to minimize the release of fuel vapours.
  • If a fire starts, do not remove the hoses or nozzles. Leave the area immediately. Alert others to do the same. Call the fire department.

What are some safety tips for handling fuel?

  • Only store the minimum amount of gasoline needed.
  • Store containers at room temperature, away from sources of heat or ignition (e.g., sun, furnace, hot water tank, portable heaters, sparks, flames, etc.), and in a well ventilated area.

    Remember, gasoline vapours are flammable, are heavier than air, and can travel long distances to an ignition source.

  • Never siphon gasoline by mouth. It is harmful and may cause death if swallowed. If ingested, do not induce vomiting. Get medical help immediately.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Avoid prolonged or repeated skin contact with fuel. Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water in case of contact.
  • Avoid breathing vapours or mists.
  • Remove any clothing that is wet with fuel. Allow fuel to evaporate completely outdoors before washing. Thoroughly clean clothing before reuse.
  • Never use gasoline as a cleaning agent.

What should I do when fueling vehicles?

  • Identify and know how to operate emergency fuel cut offs.
  • Know location and operation of fire extinguishers.
  • Always shut off engine while fueling.
  • Remove twists and small loops in the fuel delivery hose. These can cause the hose to fail or catch on bumpers as vehicles move around the pump islands.
  • Insert delivery hose nozzle firmly into the fill pipe of the vehicle. Maintain contact with the tank until the delivery is complete to reduce possibility of static electricity sparking.
  • Avoid spills by not over-filling the tank.
  • Reinstall the cap on the fill pipe when delivery is complete. Hang the hose in place on the pump.
  • Fill motorcycles slowly to prevent fuel from spilling and making contact with the hot engine.
  • Do not use the gas cap or other objects to hold the fuel delivery nozzle open.

How do I fill a portable gas container?

  • Turn off all sources of ignition (engine, lawn mower, etc.).
  • Use only approved portable containers (CSA or ULC approved).
  • Place the container on the ground.
  • Keep the fuel nozzle in contact with the container to avoid static electricity.
  • Avoid breathing vapours while filling.
  • Fill the container slowly.
  • Do not over-fill a container. Leave 5% extra space to allow for expansion.

Before work is done on a fuel tank, what should I do?

Clean and test tank to ensure that it is free of any flammable fuel or vapours before doing hot work on a tank. Verify with testing. When possible, replace the fuel tank rather than repair it. Repair tanks only in specialized shops.

  • Disconnect the battery and remove or turn off ignition sources before draining the tank.
  • Drain tanks only in well-ventilated areas, preferably outdoors.
  • Drain the fuel into containers that are approved for use with flammable liquids.
  • Do not drain gasoline tanks over or near inspection pits.
  • Use approved siphoning equipment to remove fuel. Do not use a hose.
  • If the fuel tank is removed from the vehicle or if welding will be carried out near the fuel lines, ensure that the lines are drained and the vapours are purged from the lines before the welding activities are started.

If vehicle tank leaks:

  • Keep vehicle outdoors.
  • Ground and bond vehicle to a proper siphon tank.
  • Pump out remaining fuel into approved container.

Document last updated on November 20, 2009

Disclaimer

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.