Fuel forecourts

Unique hazardous locations easily accessible to the general public.

Fuel forecourts

The fuel forecourt is perhaps the consumer retail location most associated with explosive atmosphere risk in urban areas. In recent years most nations have introduced a smaller number of large capacity forecourts, often linked to major supermarket chains or at trunk highway service stations. In all cases, the competence of staff and their awareness of explosive atmosphere hazards is crucial for the safe operation of these publicly accessible facilities. This awareness and knowledge must extend to tanker drivers and other operatives involved in the delivery of fuel to the fuel forecourt.


Where this fuel is being dispensed, there will always be a risk of explosion if a source of ignition is present. Being less dense than water, gasoline/petrol can form a slick upon its surface, so in wet conditions there is still a risk of explosion near to or around its original point of exit. Its vapour also does not disperse easily and is denser than air. It will therefore tend to sink and form invisible puddles, collecting in drains, pits, bunded areas or enclosures where there is little air movement. In sufficient concentration above the lower explosive limit and in the presence of a source of ignition, the collected vapour will explode.


For fuel forecourts dispensing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or Autogas) or liquefied natural gas (LNG), further explosive atmosphere risks are present. LPG is essentially liquefied butane or propane while LNG is methane or natural gas. These products typically have an odourant added to aid leak detection and they will quickly evaporate at ambient temperature and pressure. Methane vapour is lighter than air and therefore will tend to disperse. LPG vapour is denser than air and therefore carries similar risks of accumulation to gasoline/petrol.

In addition to current automotive fuels, fuel forecourt operators may also wish to develop competence in the explosive atmosphere risk of future fuels, such as the hydrogen gas used by fuel cell powered vehicles.


For further information on our Fuel Forecourt qualification (Ex07-Ex08)

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From safer working conditions to protecting the reputation of your business, everyone is safer certified. Complete your details to find out more about Ex07 – Ex08, a competency-based qualification for those specifically working on fuel forecourts.

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