Storing petrol safely
Petrol is a dangerous substance; it is a highly flammable liquid and can give off vapour which can easily be set on fire and when not handled safely has the potential to cause a serious fire and/or explosion.
This means there is always a risk of a fire and/or an explosion if there is a source of ignition nearby, for example a naked flame, an electrical spark or similar. Because of these risks storing petrol safely is covered by legislation; and this applies to you if you store petrol.
What is the law on storing petrol safely?
The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 (PCR) which came into force on 1 October 2014 apply to:
- workplaces that store petrol where petrol is dispensed directly into the tank of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, ie retail and non retail petrol filling stations;
- non-workplace premises storing petrol, for example at private homes, or at clubs/associations (or similar)
Petroleum Enforcement Authorities (PEAs), formerly Petroleum Licensing Authorities (PLAs) are responsible for enforcing the Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014. They also continue to enforce DSEAR at workplaces covered by PCR. This means that there is no change to the current enforcing arrangements.
The safe storage and use of petrol in workplaces is also covered by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).
Who does this apply to?
Information on how the Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 applies to the following groups:
- If you are an owner/employee of a petrol filling station
- If you store petrol at home, or at a club/association or similar premises
- If you design, manufacture or supply portable petrol storage containers
- If your workplace stores but does not dispense petrol
- If you store and use petrol at your workplace as part of a work activity
What does this legislation replace?
The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 combine, update and replace all previous legislation on petrol storage. The existing health and safety responsibilities remain the same; anything that is still relevant is included in the 2014 Regulations.
What has been withdrawn?
- List of old petroleum legislation.
- Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) COP6 – Petroleum-Spirit (Plastic Containers) Regulations 1982. Requirements for testing and marking or labelling.
- Approved Document L93 – Approved tank requirements. The provisions for bottom loading and vapour recovery systems of mobile containers carrying petrol.
- New guidance on portable petrol storage containers is available giving practical advice on the design, construction, materials and marking or labelling of containers as required by the regulations.
- Guidance on staying safe while using petrol is also available.