We have all likely seen the surveillance camera videos. A car backs into a gas pump. Flames erupt, and suddenly the entire gas station goes up in smoke. It is easy to see how easy it is for a gas station fire to cause a catastrophe. If one occurs, it could damage your livelihood. It can also cause harm to more people than you alone. What can you do to prevent fire risks in and around your store?
Fire Risks In Gas Stations
Gas stations sell a flammable, highly volatile substance. It only takes one spark to send an entire gas station up in flames. However, there are more fire risks around your store than the gas in the pipelines.
- Spilt gasoline is not easy to wash away, and there's always a chance a few drops might spill out with every fill-up. Over time, the accumulation could easily create puddles that might ignite.
- Spill risks don't exist only in the parking lot. Individuals could track gas and other flammable solvents into the store.
- If you sell propane or other gas in containers, then these are also fire risks.
- Stores that sell tobacco products create fire risks simply by stocking those items.
- Cooking utensils in the store can present fire risks if left unmonitored.
Even your utilities might present fire risks if you fail to maintain these systems. While you might not think a flickering light is a sign of trouble, it could get worse instantly.
Preventing Fire Risks
Your gas station insurance policy will usually contain a degree of property insurance. You'll have compensation to rebuild if an unavoidable gas station fire occurs. You'll also have liability insurance to protect customers and their property harmed in fires.
Yet, clear cases where you could have prevented an explosion, but failed to do so, might disqualify you from making an insurance claim. So, your goal should be to keep your fire risks as low as possible. Some of the ways you might do so include:
- Follow all rules and regulations required during pumping, spills and cleanups.
- Know where your station's emergency shutoff valve is. As soon as a spill occurs, stop the pumps.
- Post warning signs around the property to tell customers how to react should they smell fumes, see spills or notice fires.
- Keep an emergency extinguisher on hand to help you contain small fires.
If you ever notice problems with your pumping systems or other parts of the store, have them repaired. The sooner you can get control of a problem, the lower safety risks will likely be.