PELG Petrol filling stations - Guidance on managing the risks of fire and explosion (The Red Guide)

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  • Published: January 2015
  • Edition: -
  • Status: Current

This publication is free to download for all users.

The guidance is directed at those with a responsibility for the safe operation of facilities where petrol is stored and dispensed into vehicle fuel tanks, to enable them to comply with the relevant health and safety legislation; in particular their statutory duties under the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).

This guidance covers:

  • The most common fire and explosion hazards associated with the unloading of road tankers, the storage and dispensing of petrol, the commissioning of new and redeveloped filling stations and taking storage tanks and equipment out of use (decommissioning).
  • How to carry out an assessment to identify and deal with the risks that these activities present; and provides information, advice and examples of good practices on how to manage and control the risks of fires and explosions occurring.

This guidance does not cover:

  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (autogas)*, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen. These re-fuelling installations are also covered by DSEAR and you will need to carry out a risk assessment in order to determine the extent of the control measures necessary. The methodology given in this guidance can be followed but will need to be adapted to take account of the hazardous characteristics of the gases concerned and the different technical and engineering aspects of the activities of unloading, storage and dispensing.
    *Other than for dispensing control measures.
  • The technical/engineering aspects in any detail as this information is adequately covered by the EI/APEA joint publication Design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of filling stations (the Blue Book). Site operators will, therefore, need to refer to the Blue Book when following this guidance.
  • The health risks associated with coming into contact with petrol/petrol vapour.
  • Environmental issues such as contamination of groundwater, water courses and land.
  • General fire precautions (means of escape and fire alarms/detection etc.) in buildings associated with the filling station.

The guidance is not meant to be prescriptive and alternative methods of controlling the risks of fire and explosion may be followed where these provide an equivalent level of safety. However, if this guidance is followed, site operators will normally be able to demonstrate their compliance with the law.

This guidance was written by the Petroleum Enforcement Liaison Group (PELG). PELG aims to facilitate an appropriate and consistent enforcement by petroleum enforcement authorities (PEAs) through the dissemination of circulars (PETELs), guidance and good practice. In 2012, the EI became the sponsoring organisation for PELG; we provide Secretariat support, but are not formally represented on PELG. Please contact PELG to receive further information:

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