Preventing truck and tanker fires

Truck inspection manual

More than 200 trucks catch fire every year in NSW with many of these fires being preventable. These fires endanger lives, and can cause water, land and air pollution, significant traffic delays, and often result in the destruction of the truck and its cargo.

The EPA and truck fire investigators have come together to create the  Preventing fires – truck inspection manual (PDF 4MB) for people such as fleet operators, workshop managers and mechanics to assist them in identifying potential causes of truck fires and to help prevent them from occurring. The manual focuses on more than pre-journey checks and includes

Unloading petrol from tankers at petrol stations

When tankers unload petrol at petrol stations flammable petrol vapour is released. The petrol vapour forms a cloud which can explode if there is a source of ignition. It is important to exclude sources of ignition from vapour clouds.

Exclusion zones must be created when a petrol tanker is unloading

  • all vehicles are sources of ignition
  • all sources of ignition must be excluded for a distance of 3m from hose connections while tankers are unloading
  • the exclusion zone must be clearly marked with cones or other barriers that prevent vehicle entry
  • if the underground tank fill points are within the service area, the lane on the outlet side of the tanker must have bowsers shut down and be blocked off while the tanker is unloading

Penalties for not creating exclusion zones

  • $400 penalty notice for tanker drivers
  • $800 penalty notice for individual staff of petrol stations
  • $4000 penalty notice for corporations operating petrol stations
  • much higher penalties can apply if the breach is taken to court

Further information

Phone EPA's Environment Line on 131 555.