Safety Advice for Fuelbox Retailers - FuelBox

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Customers who buy red diesel in 200 litre barrels often don't require that much fuel on site.

The following guidelines are based on HSE and Fire Service guidance documents.

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Guidelines

This guide sets out our recommendations for the storage and use of FuelBoxes by the retailer.

FuelBox contains Red Diesel fuel packaged in a UN-approved 20 Litre rigid disposable carton with flexible inner liner. Our product is designed to provide high quality fuels in an environmentally friendly packaging system and comes as a sealed package.

Red Diesel is classed as flammable but is not easily ignited. In a larger fire, packaging damage may be expected and the leaking fuel may then contribute to the fire.

Fire Safety law requires you to give particular consideration to products such as FuelBox as part of your fire safety risk assessment. Health and Safety law also requires you to consider FuelBox in your risk assessments. This can be part of the same risk assessment and can also be part of the main fire risk assessment you are required to carry out for your premises.

The guidelines below are based on guidance provided by the Health and Safety Executive and the Fire Service.

FuelBox is an innovative product and not one which either organisation’s guidelines specifically recognise. Both the HSE and Fire Service guidelines recommend that products having properties of this nature are stored in the minimum quantities necessary to meet business needs with additional quantities kept in a secure fire resistant store.

For small retail units, we recommend that no more than 8 FuelBoxes are kept on display in the retail area, and this stock should be kept away from substantive quantities of combustible materials and sources of ignition. Further palletised or bulk stocks should be kept in a secure, dry fire-resistant storage room. Such stocks should be kept away from stored quantities of combustible materials and associated sources of ignition. Where the retail unit has living accommodation above it, it is recommended that bulk storage be kept in an external steel container or store, or in a storage area which is not underneath the living area, and away from any escape routes or stairs. This should be part of your fire safety risk assessment.

In large retail units where the majority of stock is held in the main retail sales area, only one pallet of FuelBoxes should be available for customer access at any time and kept away from areas with a high concentration of combustible materials. Further pallets should be stored away from combustible materials and within the capabilities of any sprinkler system installed in the building.

Fire Safety law also requires you make fire-fighters aware of the location and quantity of any such substances, so that fire-fighters attending a fire out of hours will be able to fight any fire safely.

The location and quantity of FuelBox storage should for part of the information you provide for fire-fighters, either in an Emergency Box, as notices near the fire alarm control panel or by other means.

In the event of a flood, or water damage following a fire, FuelBoxes will not leak, but the outer rigid case may be weakened. Any damaged FuelBox should be carefully removed and dispensed into a suitable fuel container. The fuel will remain safe for use.

Any fuel leakage, including from FuelBoxes, should be contained with the spill kit, sand or absorbent granules, and disposed of as hazardous waste via a specialist contractor, as with any spilled diesel.

References

D R Daniel BSc CMIOSH
01788 226111

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