Today's post is not about an issue currently in NFPA 1, Fire Code, and not yet being addressed by the committee, but it is an emerging issue that I came across last week and thought I would share here for awareness and discussion. It may impact NFPA 1 and other NFPA documents in the near future.
Gas delivery services, being dubbed the 'Uber for gas', have been mentioned by many news outlets over the past week. A few examples here:
- Gas delivery startups want to fill up your car anywhere
- Uber for gas’ startups face legal grey area as regulators raise safety questions
- Can On-Demand Gas Delivery Work in Chicago?
The purpose of these services is to bring the fuel to your car, rather than you bringing your car to a traditional gas station. Sitting at your office at work and remember that your tank is on empty? With a few touches of your smartphone, these companies will drive their trucks to you and fill your tank in the office parking lot. That simple. There are several startup companies offering this service in many areas throughout the country.
However, there are safety concerns over these services. Sure, they are convenient and innovative, but do they address the necessary hazards and safety issues that may arise? Some of the concerns that come to my mind are:
- quantity of fuel on the trucks
- equipment, training, education of employees and customers
- fueling locations (underground parking garages? residential?)
NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages, referenced by NFPA 1, contains language that addresses on-site refueling, but it’s intended for commercial (fleet) application and the location is supposed to be a designated area and is supposed to be approved by the AHJ. NFPA staff have already started the discussion and through collaboration between NFPA 1 and NFPA 30A, we will work together to ensure our codes and standards can provide the necessary provisions to keep the employees and customers of these services safe.
Have you used a fuel delivery service? If not, would you? Do they operate in a city of town near you?