Fuel Safety Tips to Live By
By now, it’s clear that the spread of COVID-19 across the country is going to create significant disruptions to many industries. Many people are stocking up on fuel for their bi-fuel generators. While this is advisable during the current situation, it is not advisable to ignore basic safety protocols in order to stash away a few extra gallons of fuel. Remember, the following are non-negotiable regardless of whether you have a bi-fuel generator or other system.
1. Don’t Store More Than You Need. Fuel is volatile, and storing too much wastes space and money. It also increases the likelihood of spills and unnecessary waste. Calculate your needs for 2-3 weeks, and that should be sufficient for most businesses should any disruptions to fuel supplies occur. Right now, demand for fuel in the United States and around the world is down significantly, which means there is currently no shortage to guard against.
2. Stabilize Your Fuel. Make sure that you add stabilizers to your fuel supplies. Diesel will last longer than gasoline. However, it will start to degrade after a few months. If you are filling your tanks now, add the appropriate amount of stabilizer with the anticipation that you won’t need it during this time.
3. Store Fuel Outside, and Away From Structures. Whether it is your home, office building, or on-site work trailer, keep your fuel at a safe distance. Under no circumstances should you attempt to store extra fuel in metal or plastic containers that are not specifically designed and approved for fuel storage. If it doesn’t meet the requirements of NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, you’re setting yourself up for significant fines and liability for serious personal injuries.
4. Adhere to Safe Refueling Practices. Always ensure that safety protocols are followed during fuel transfers. This will help minimize the risk of spills or toxic exposures. Further, always make sure that the generator is turned off and cool before attempting to fill the fuel tanks.
5. Inspect and Repair Damaged Berms and Other Spill Containment Systems. Make sure that fuel is secured behind fencing and locked down tight. Additionally, repair any damaged berms, security systems, and other protective devices that alert you to intruders or leaks.
6. Cross-Train Your Employees. It is very likely that some members of your team will not be present on the worksite over the coming months as they take care of themselves or family. Thus, it is crucial to ensure that your teams are cross-trained and thoroughly educated in safe fuel handling practices. Cross-training is the key to continuity. Further, make sure to keep a copy of your fuel handling policies secured at the fuel storage site for quick reference if it is needed.
We invite you to contact Gen-Tech at 800-625-8324 for more information about the safe operation and management of a bi-fuel generator. It is our pleasure to help you keep your operations moving forward as our nation navigates this current situation.