FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to stay safe ahead of a possible fuel drivers’ strike.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says storing petrol is extremely dangerous and can dramatically increase the likelihood of fire, putting members of the public and firefighters at risk.
Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ian Bitcon, said: “We appreciate that a fuel strike may cause difficulties, but members of the public should consider their safety as most important and be aware of the risks associated with incorrect use and storage of fuel.
“Legal requirements for safe storage of fuel exist for a reason and as in previous years, all complaints received will be fully investigated and where dangerous conditions are found appropriate individuals will be prosecuted.”
The fire service says people should only use containers built specifically for the purpose of carrying fuel. Appropriate containers are available from car accessory stores.
Petrol should only be stored in metal containers of 10 litres (approximately two gallons) or plastic containers of five litres (approximately one gallon) and people should have no more than two of each (approximately six gallons of fuel).
For domestic use - apart from what’s in the fuel tank, people can only transport petrol in securely closed containers designed for the purpose and marked ‘Petroleum spirit’ and ‘Highly flammable’. Make sure they are secured in the boot when being transported.
Filling a fuel tank from a container should only be carried out in the open air.
At home, fuel containers must not be stored in living accommodation such as kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms or under staircases. Any storage place should be well away from living areas and be secured to protect against the possibility of vandalism or arson.
Check containers regularly for leaks. If there is a smell of petrol fumes, ventilate the area and make sure nobody smokes or turns electrical switches on or off.
The slightest spark could cause an explosion.