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Reducing Risks at the Fuel Island at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Operations


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators

Reducing Risks at the Fuel Island at Your Truckstop

The flammable nature of fuels make fire a top concern among operators, but there are a number of steps locations and employees can take to reduce the risk of a fire occurring or to avoid making a situation worse if a fire starts.

As a best practice, operators should ensure all employees know where fire extinguishers are located. They should also know how to utilize the emergency shutdown button that will stop fuel from flowing through the pumps are located. They also need to prevent people from smoking near the fuel islands, during loading and unloading operations and within twenty-five feet of bulk trucks and transports. 

Good housekeeping helps foster a safe work environment and electrical controls, electrical panels and fire extinguishers must be maintained at all times. Staff should be encouraged to report unsafe conditions to their supervisor.

If a Fire Occurs:

  • Call for help. 
  • Utilize the emergency shutdown button.
  • Extinguish the fire if you can do so safely.
  • Don't use water. 
  • Do not remove the nozzle from the vehicle.
  • Leave the area immediately and call for help.
  • Help evacuate the location and move people a safe distance away from the fire.

Remind Customers To:

  • Turn off the vehicle's engine when refueling.
  • Keep fuel out of the reach of children.
  • Avoid smoking, lighting matches or using lighters while refueling.
  • Avoid using cell phones while fueling.
  • To avoid spills, do not top off or overfill your vehicle.
  • Refrain from getting in and out of their vehicles while refueling. The movement can create a static electric charge to develop, which spark can spark and ignite the fumes when the person touches the nozzle. 
  • Discharge any static electricity by touching metal on the outside of the vehicle, away from the filling point, before removing the nozzle from your vehicle.
  • Use only approved portable containers for transporting or storing fuel.
  • Place a container on the ground before filling it. 

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here.

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.