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Posted Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Understanding the potential risks associated with your fuel storage system is crucial to ensure the safety of both your business and the environment. In this blog article, we’ll explore the factors that may pose as risks to your above-ground fuel storage system and discuss preventive measures to mitigate those risks effectively.


1. Environmental Factors

One of the primary considerations for assessing the risk of an above-ground fuel storage system is the environmental factors that surround it. These factors include extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or earthquakes, as well as proximity to bodies or water, wetlands, or environmentally sensitive areas. Evaluating the likelihood and potential impact of these factors will help you determine the level of risk your storage system faces.


To prevent these risks:

  • Choose a suitable location for your above-ground fuel storage system, considering factors such as elevation, proximity to flood-prone areas, and potential exposure to extreme weather events.
  • Implement protective measures like flood barriers, stormwater management systems, or windbreaks to minimise the impact of environmental factors.
  • Regularly monitor weather forecasts and take preemptive actions when severe weather conditions are expected.

2. Material Degradation

Over time, the materials used in your above-ground fuel storage system including the tank, pipes, and fittings, can degrade due to various factors such as corrosion, mechanical stress, or UV radiation. Rust, cracks, or weakened structural integrity can increase the risk of leaks or spills, posing a significant hazard to both personnel and the environment. Regular inspections, maintenance, and periodic replacement of aging components are vital to minimising the risk of material degradation.


To prevent these risks:

  • Conduct regular inspections of tanks, pipes, fittings, and other components to identify signs of corrosion, rust or wear. Replace or repair any degraded or damaged parts promptly.
  • Apply protective coatings or linings to tanks and equipment to reduce the risk of corrosion.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines for maintenance and ensure proper cleaning, calibration, and testing of equipment.

3. Operational Practises

Human error and improper operational practises can significantly increase the vulnerability of your above-ground fuel storage system. Mishandling of fuel during transfers, overfilling, inadequate monitoring, or failure to adhere to safety protocols can lead to accidents and spills. Proper training of personnel, implementing strict operational guidelines and regular audits can help mitigate these risks and ensure safe storage practises.


To prevent these risks:

  • Develop and implement comprehensive operating procedures that emphasise safety, including guidelines for fuel transfers, storage capacity limits, and monitoring protocols.
  • Provide thorough training to personnel involved in handling fuel, emphasising proper procedures, safety measures, and emergency response protocols.
  • Conduct regular audits and inspections to ensure compliance with operational guidelines and identify any potential issues or areas for improvement.

4. Fire Hazards

Fuel is highly flammable, and any ignition source near your above-ground fuel storage system can potentially trigger a fire. Factors such as improper grounding, electrical equipment malfunctions, or nearby activities involving open flames or sparks can create a hazardous environment. Conducting thorough fire risk assessments, installing fire suppression systems and practising proper fire safety protocols are crucial for minimising the risk of fires and protecting your assets. fire safety article.


To prevent these risks:

  • Install and maintain appropriate fire suspension systems, such as fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems or foam suppression systems, in and around the fuel storage area.
  • Implement effective grounding and bonding techniques to minimise the risk of static electricity buildup and discharge.
  • Ensure that electrical equipment and wiring within the storage area are designed and maintained to meet safety standards.

5. Security Threats

Above-ground fuel storage systems can be attractive target for theft, vandalism, or even intentional sabotage. Unrestricted access, inadequate security measures, or lack of surveillance can make your system vulnerable to criminal activities. Implementing robust security measures such as fencing, surveillance cameras, access controls and alarm systems can significantly reduce the risk of security threats.


To prevent these risks:

  • Secure the perimeter of the storage facility with fences, gates, and appropriate access controls to limit unauthorised entry.
  • Install surveillance cameras and alarm systems to monitor the facility and deter potential theft or vandalism.
  • Implement robust security protocols, including employee identification procedures, visitor management systems and regular security assessments.



Evaluating and understanding the risks associated with your above-ground fuel storage system is vital for safeguarding your business, employees, and the environment. By considering environmental factors, material degradation, operational practises, fire hazards, and security threats, you can identify potential vulnerabilities and take appropriate preventative measures. Regular inspections, maintenance, training programs and implementing robust security measures will help ensure the safety and integrity of your above-ground fuel storage system. Remember, proactive risk management is essential in maintaining a secure and compliant operation while minimising the potental for accidents, spills, or environmental damage.

If you have further queries about ensuring your fuel storage system is risk free, then please contact our team at Fuelchief. We are always happy to help out. www.fuelchieftanks.com/contact

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