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Petrol Station #144515
12/12/05 02:50 PM
12/12/05 02:50 PM
KaTaLy5Tt  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 8
I was working in a petrol station today repairing lights (none of the lights on the forecourt were working) and I noticed that none of the lights are "intrinsically safe". Just wondering would that be a problem. All of the lights are standard fluorescent fittings w/ electronic control gears.

We had to run two new 3x1.5 SWA inside the canopy to feed the lights because the two 3X1.5 NYM-J that were buried under the ground weren't working anymore, similar problem a couple of months ago. We didn't wire the place in case you were wondering.

Also, About 1.5m from one of the petrol pumps was a manhole that had the NYMs in it along with a few 5core and 7core SWAs and a hole lot more NYMs all joined in j-boxes with no covers, twisted and taped together. It looked real nice, I wouldn't like to have been near it if there was a spark. Thankfully there's no power in the manhole anymore because we ran the new cables out. It's a pity I didn't have the camera with me because I'm sure it would have been a prime candidate for the violations forum.


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Re: Petrol Station #144516
12/12/05 07:45 PM
12/12/05 07:45 PM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Hazardous locations are a fairly specialised part of the electrical trade; a lot of "cussin' and dis-cussin' " goes into deciding just where the "classified location" boundaries are.

In the USA, our code typically defines the area around the pumps, to a heigth of 12 ft, to be "in the zone." So, naturally, all the lamps are mounted higher than that. (Not to mention the risk of a 13' truck trailer hitting them!)

Re: Petrol Station #144517
12/12/05 08:50 PM
12/12/05 08:50 PM
frenchelectrican  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
Wi/ Paris France { France for ...

I am not sure where you are from but if this in USA we have classifed location for lumiaires as Reno explain but if from european area i am not well verised with their regulations some how it might be diffrent so if you state us where are you located maybe we can help you with correct regulations there

Merci , Marc

Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

Re: Petrol Station #144518
12/13/05 12:46 PM
12/13/05 12:46 PM
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Topic moved from General area.

Re: Petrol Station #144519
12/13/05 09:38 PM
12/13/05 09:38 PM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
Does the Hazardous Areas equipment in Ireland go under the BASEEFA certification or under the CENELEC certification, or something totally different, these days?.
As far as your petrol station goes though, provided the lighting equipment is above 3 metres there shouldn't be a problem.
Lots of service stations here use ordinary Low-Bay Metal-Halide fittings built into the roof canopy and also have Neon lighting around the sides of the canopy.
To a degree, fluorescent fittings with electronic control gear would be a lot safer than their wire-wound counterparts from a fire risk perspective.
However, as for that dodgy connection in the manhole.
Them connections should have been done in a certified Ex-d(flame-proof) or Ex-e (increased safety) enclosure.
Over here in New Zealand, before any Hazardous Area equipment is commissioned, it has to be inspected by an Independant inspector (ie, third party to the installer).
Inspecting installations like these is a Trade in itself here.

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 12-13-2005).]

Re: Petrol Station #144520
12/14/05 11:24 AM
12/14/05 11:24 AM
djk  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,241
That sounds extremely dodgy indeed. How far away from the pumps / petrol / gas storage is this manhole ?

There are definintely regulations in force here regarding hazardous areas. If the station's wiring is in a hazardous area and isn't conforming it really ought to be reported.

Historically in Ireland there have been a lot of independent petrol (gas) retailers who operated under franchise from the oil companies. I wouldn't be 100% convinced about their compliance with codes, particularly for the parts of the site that were not installed by the oil company itself.

Re: Petrol Station #144521
12/14/05 06:45 PM
12/14/05 06:45 PM
KaTaLy5Tt  Offline OP
Junior Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 8
djk: The manhole is about 1.5m from the nearest petrol pump. It's about 1ft deep and 1ft sq. It can be easily accessed by anyone by just lifting the cover. There are the the remains of some type enclosure in there, no lid, no glands. I'd say it was IP65 at some stage in it's existance.

There are signs just above the petrol pumps on the pillar with the company logo etc on them, they have fluo fittins in there, they're about 1.5-2m from the ground. There are j-boxes for these lights on all the pillars above the petrol pumps, when I say j-boxes I mean the green earth rod inspection boxes used as j-boxes.

The petrol station is built inside an old garage/car repair shop. All of the original wiring is still in there, just chopped out where it's not needed. A suspended ceiling was installed and everything is hidden above it. I lifted one of the tiles and couldn't believe the mess of cables just hanging there. The main panel is a mess too, badly overcrowed.


Re: Petrol Station #144522
12/14/05 07:06 PM
12/14/05 07:06 PM
djk  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,241
There are very clear ETCI wiring rules for potentially explosive environments. (Check and click on publications for more details)

I'm not 100% sure who the relevant authority responsible for safety at a petrol station is.. however, I've a feeling it's the local authority i.e. city/county council.

I don't know if you or your boss is in a position to report it. But, if it's a public safety hazard you really ought to.

I would suggest that you try calling the Department of the Environment and Local Government for annoymous advice on how to go about getting the site inspected without putting your job / relationship with client on the line.

or call 1890 20 20 21

There is pretty specific legislation and numerous statutory instruments that deal with the handling of petrol/oil/lpg including filling stations.

They could at least give you info!

Alternatively call the local city or county council and ask to speak to the fire prevention officer.

A fire officer has pretty serious powers to inspect any business premisis / public building.
(That gives you info on the fire services and their powers)

Going to get a bit longwinded here but anyway...

Petrol Stations in the Republic of Ireland are governed by the DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES (RETAIL AND PRIVATE PETROLEUM STORES) REGULATIONS, 1979. (and ammendments [there are quite a few])

Part II section 24 of which covers electrical safety in the broadest possible terms, but would pretty much have this station owner hung out to dry!

24. (1) Subject to Regulation 23 of these Regulations and to any conditions attached to a licence, all practicable steps shall be taken by the licensee of a retail store or private store to ensure that—
( a ) electrical apparatus is designed, installed, protected, worked and maintained so as to prevent risk or injury so far as is reasonably practicable;

( b ) electrical apparatus likely to ignite vapours of petroleum Class I is not located in a hazardous area unless the apparatus is so constructed and protected and such special precautions are taken so as adequately to prevent danger by ignition, fire or explosion or otherwise through exposure or use.

(2) All practicable steps shall be taken by a licensee or carrier to prevent any generation, accumulation or discharge of static electricity where a dangerous concentration of vapours from petroleum Class I may reasonably be expected to be present.

(3) Subject to any conditions attached to a licence, a licensee shall make, and secure the effective carrying out of, arrangements for the inspection and testing at intervals not exceeding three years by a competent person of all electrical apparatus located in a hazardous area and of all parts of every circuit of such apparatus, including—

( a ) the verification of polarity,

( b ) the effectiveness of the earth loop impedence,

( c ) the conductance of the earth conductor and earth plate or earth rods,

( d ) the effectiveness of every earth-leakage circuit breaker,

( e ) the insulation resistance of every circuit, and

( f ) the suitability, effectiveness and condition of all cables, switches, fuses, plugs and socket outlets having due regard to the other provisions of this Regulation, and

a certificate, in such form as may be approved by the licensing authority, of the results of every such inspection and test and shall be kept available by a licensee for inspection by the licensing authority.


I assume the penalty would be loosing your licence to sell petrol and/or prosecution.

Did a little further reading. The Local Authority (City/County Council) seems to be the licencing authority. They can send an inspector who can, without warrant, demand access to any part of the premisis, inspect anything, demand documents. If they don't cooperate he/she can be assisted by police.

It's pretty serious stuff!!

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 12-14-2005).]


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