January Safety Tip: Prevent Farm Equipment Fires Through Safe Fueling

January 02, 2018 - Whether it’s planting season, harvesting season or any time in between, it is always important to think about safe fueling practices. Since you work in an environment with both ignition sources and abundant fuel (dry foliage and other materials) for fires or explosions, preventing sparks while re-filling equipment is crucial.

Remember that carelessness leads to accidents, and taking shortcuts is not worth your life. Follow these guidelines to ensure you and your equipment stay safe during fueling. 

  • Never refuel equipment or machinery while the engine is still running, and chock the wheels if there is a possibility it could roll.
  • After shutting off the engine, wait up to 15 minutes before beginning fueling depending on how long the engine had been running.
  • If any fuel spills during the process, wipe away the excess and allow the fumes to dissipate.
  • Always concentrate on the task at hand. Do not try to complete other tasks while refueling.
  • Stand by the tank so you can act quickly if something goes wrong.
  • Do not refuel while smoking, while others are smoking or near any other open flames. 
  • On hot days, allow room in the tank for the fuel to expand.
  • Place the container on the ground when refueling, never on the bed of the vehicle.
  • Keep the container’s nozzle in contact with the fuel tank’s inlet tube.
  • Do not refuel in areas with heavy vehicle or foot traffic.
  • Do not refuel in areas that have the potential for spills or fuel ignition.
  • Use only approved containers—never put flammable liquids in glass or other non-plastic containers.
  • After filling, wipe off the container and ensure the cap is secure and the air vent is tight.
  • Do not top off or over-fill the tank.
  • Clean up all spills immediately. If you have to leave a spill unattended, mark off the area to reduce to possibility of slips.
  • Make sure there is a fire extinguisher available in the area before you begin fueling and that you know how to use it.
  • Keep the entire area unobstructed, making sure equipment can enter and exit the area smoothly and that it is free of garbage and debris.