Barrar Gas Pump Safety Bill Advances

The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee today approved legislation offered by Chairman Stephen E. Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) to improve safety at self-service gasoline stations. 

“Few of us consider the volatile nature of gasoline when we fill our tanks, but it is important to constantly review and update safety standards at gas stations,” said Barrar.  “Requiring multiple shut-off switches will enhance the likelihood of diverting disaster if something goes wrong at the pump.” 

House Bill 728 would incorporate National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, which allow multiple emergency control devices and electrical disconnects at gas stations.  The main shut-off switch still would be mandated to be within 15 feet of the attendant, but the measure also requires a shut-off switch within 100 feet of the nearest pump.  The bill provides for additional shut-off switches to be placed within 100 feet of the gas pump they serve.  No gas pump would be permitted to be beyond 200 feet from the main shut-off switch. 

Barrar noted that the legislation would not apply to existing gas stations, but would be mandatory for newly constructed, modified or expanded stations. 

“As we have seen the size of gas stations grow, it has become necessary to re-evaluate the placement of emergency shut-off devices,” said Barrar.  “This legislation will provide for less congestion and safer traffic patterns at self service gas stations.  Often, the biggest danger at the gas station is not the gasoline, but the impatience of other drivers.  I am hopeful that allowing more space at the pumps will cut down on collisions and near misses between drivers.” 

House Bill 728 was reported out of committee and will now go to the full House for consideration. 

State Representative Steve Barrar
160th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Nicole Wamsley

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