HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives approved legislation this week authored by Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-160), majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, that would improve safety at self-service gasoline stations.
“I think we have learned that when it comes to safety measures, it always makes sense to require a backup,” said Barrar. “Having two shut-off switches at gas pumps will increase the safety of every patron and employee of self-service stations.”
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. No gas pump would be permitted to be beyond 200 feet from the main shut-off switch. The bill provides for additional shut-off switches to be placed within 100 feet of the gas pump they serve.
Barrar’s legislation would not apply to existing gas stations, but would be mandatory for newly constructed, modified or expanded stations.
“As the demand for fuel and the number of vehicles on our roads have increased so has the size of our gas stations,” said Barrar. “Larger fueling stations require additional safety measures. We take for granted the volatility of a chemical like gasoline because we are so accustomed to handling it, but the combustible nature of gasoline warrants frequent review of our safety standards. I am pleased my colleagues recognized the need for this legislation today.”
Barrar noted that his legislation also would alleviate congestion in the gas pump bay area by creating safer traffic patterns.
“People fueling up are in a hurry to pump their gas and get back on the road,” said Barrar. “During peak hours drivers can become a danger to each other. My legislation will help to improve the way vehicles access gas bays and reduce the likelihood of collisions at fueling stations.”
The legislation was supported by the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute, Office of the State Fire Commissioner, the Pennsylvania Convenience Store Council, and the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association.
More information about Barrar and his legislative priorities is available at SteveBarrar.com or Facebook.com/RepBarrar.