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Alarming lapses in petrol station safety

By Martin Chapman on Monday, 26th April 2004.

A recent investigation by Trading Standards officers has uncovered what have been described by officers as “alarming lapses in safety.”

Nearly 70% of petrol stations visited allowed undercover officers to dispense petrol into unapproved containers.

Officers visited 38 sites this year, and 22 (69%) allowed petrol to be poured into a cardboard container with a tin can inside. The officers used the most obvious pump to the cashier, frequently directly in front of them. However none of them refused to dispense the petrol and on four sites, pump attendants actually dispensed the petrol themselves.

More worryingly for trading standards officers, was that out of 16 sites which had been visited last year, seven sold petrol in illegal containers. The petrol stations are now likely to face legal action, while stations visited for the first time will be sent written warnings alongside advice on what they need to do to comply with the law.

Peter Monk of Suffolk County Council emphasises how vital it is that petrol stations follow the law is: “If you buy fuel in an unsuitable container it is more likely to leak or spill. If you handle something as dangerous and volatile as petrol unsafely, you risk causing a fire and losing your home, or even your life.”

The legal limit for domestic petrol storage is 20 litres. Containers must either be approved plastic or metal ones marked with the words: Petrol – Highly Flammable!

For further advice about the legal limits and correct containers for petrol contact Suffolk Trading Standards Advice Line on 01473 584358.

Haverhill Online News

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