Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
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Isle of Man Government Office of Fair Trading

Fuel Tanker Strike

The Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service and the Office of Fair Trading would like to reassure the public that it is business as usual for fuel on the Island. The possible tanker strikes in the UK will not impact upon local supplies which are brought in by sea and have no road tanker involvement. There is no form of action planned by local Road Tanker Drivers. The issues for which cause the industrial action in the UK are not relevant to the Island.

The Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) strongly recommend against the storing of excessive amounts of fuel which is both illegal and a danger in case of fire.

The OFT advises that there are controls in place governing the storage of petroleum spirit (‘petrol’) in quantities of more than 10 litres.

Anyone storing more than 10 litres of petrol must obtain a licence from the OFT. This does not apply to petrol stored in the fuel tanks of vehicles.

Householders are advised that any incidents arising from the illegal storage of petrol in domestic premises, including garages and workshops, may mean that they will face legal action by the OFT. They should also be aware of the fact that their home insurance policies may not cover such incidents.

What are the dangers of storing petrol at home?

  • Petrol is a highly flammable liquid.
  • Petrol gives off a flammable vapour even at low temperatures. Flammable vapour will be present immediately after any petrol has been spilt.
  • There is always a risk of fire or explosion if there is a source of ignition, e.g. someone smoking, having a barbecue or welding, in the presence of petrol or petrol vapour.
  • A flammable atmosphere exists when the proportion of petrol vapour in the air is as little as 1%; it only needs a minute quantity, e.g. a teaspoonful, of petrol to create a flammable atmosphere.
  • Petrol floats on the surface of water and can increase the risk of fire or explosion well away from where it escapes by travelling long distances along a water course e.g. a drain.
  • The presence of petrol vapour increases the risk of fire or explosion in places where there is little movement of air, e.g. within workshops, inspection pits or enclosed spaces, as it does not disperse easily and tends to sink to the lowest possible level.
  • A flammable atmosphere may be present in any empty vessel, e.g. a fuel tank or a jerry can, in which petrol has been kept.

The OFT has produced guidance leaflets on the safe storage of petrol. Copies of the leaflets or further advice on storage and licensing can be obtained from the OFT in Lord Street, Douglas, by telephoning 686500 or from its website

We will update the situation if there are any changes.

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