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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Fire Service issues warning about panic buying and storing fuel

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The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) – the organisation that represents the most senior fire officers in the UK – is calling on the public not to panic buy and store quantities of fuel to reduce the risk of injury.

The warning comes as fuel stations across the country are faced with shortages initially caused by the nationwide lack of HGV drivers, but exacerbated by panic buying amongst motorists, with filling stations seeing huge increases in the quantity of fuel sold since the crisis began.

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In a statement, a spokesperson from the NFCC said: “Storing fuel in a car, the workplace or at home can create a fire hazard due to its highly flammable and combustible nature. This can cause a serious risk of injury, loss of life and damage to not only people’s properties but to others in the vicinity.

“As well as causing a fire risk, the vapour can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and exposure to high concentrations, particularly in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness.

“The law also clearly states only 30 litres of petrol can be stored at home or at non workplace premises – without having to inform the local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA).

“Stockpiling could also put unnecessary pressure on fire and rescue services across the country if there is an increase in fuel related fires and incidents

“However, if people have brought additional fuel, it must be stored in suitable portable or metal containers or a demountable fuel tank.”

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What containers can I store excess fuel?

  • Plastic containers storing up to 10 litres.
  • Metal containers storing up to 20 litres.
  • Demountable fuel tank up to 30 litres.

NFCC is also urging those who may have brought additional fuel to take extra precautions, including:

  • No smoking and no naked lights in the vicinity.
  • Decant fuel in the open air – not inside a garage or shed.
  • Use a pouring spout or funnel.

(Lead image: South Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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