Standard Operating Procedures for Fueling Equipment

Care must always be taken when fueling equipment.


Any time you are handling volatile liquids or gases, there is a chance of fire or explosion and injury to yourself. Basic safety includes storing fuel in properly labeled containers, away from buildings and children. Check the tanks regularly for leaks in the fuel containers, hoses, nozzles or other delivery equipment. After you've made sure the fueling equipment you use is safe, keep in mind several safety protocols for fueling.

Turn off the engine when preparing to refuel. Avoid bumping metal equipment, tools or parts into metal obstructions, fuel tanks or support structures. Metal on metal contact can cause a spark. Extinguish smoke and any open flames and turn off your cell phone. Wait for the engine to cool down, especially if the refueling cap is anywhere near the engine block. Make sure there is good ventilation, if you are inside, to avoid vapor buildup.

Opening the Fuel Tank

Stand or sit where you have a solid position and can reach the refueling port and fueling nozzle comfortably without slipping or falling. You should be able to handle the hose comfortably without stretching or reaching at an awkward angle. Make sure the area around you is clear. Remove the fuel cap and wait while any air pressure vents from the tank. Place a hand on the metal tank to ground it and prevent static electrical sparks. For portable fuel cans, use only UPC- or CSA-certified containers.


Insert the fuel nozzle if refilling from a pump. Make sure the spout is fully inserted into the fuel port. If fueling from a can, extend the spout fully so that it clicks into place. Open the secondary vent hole so the fuel flows smoothly. Insert the spout fully into the fuel port and pour slowly. Never prop open the fuel hatch with the gas cap. Set the cap away from the tank or let it dangle on its chain.


Most pumps shut off automatically when the tank is full. Do not remove your hand from the metal fuel tank until you remove the nozzle so you don't get a static spark. Do not cap off the tank to prevent spillage. When filling with a can, fill slowly and listen to the air coming out of the can as the fuel pours in. As the can nears the full level, air will come out faster, and the pitch will get higher. Stop before the tank is full. Leave 5 percent empty to allow for expansion of the can. Do not splash fuel on the engine or frame of the equipment when fueling and avoid skin contact . When the tank is full, let the fueling nozzle drain for a few seconds before removing it from the fuel port to prevent dripping. Replace the filler cap.


Wipe up any spills or drips and allow any damp spots on or around the motor to evaporate before attempting to start the equipment. Lock up any unattended pump or store portable fuel cans under lock and key in a well ventilated storage area away from flame or sparks.

About the Author

Tom King published his first paid story in 1976. His book, "Going for the Green: An Insider's Guide to Raising Money With Charity Golf," was published in 2008. He received gold awards for screenwriting at the 1994 Worldfest Charleston and 1995 Worldfest Houston International Film Festivals. King holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Southwestern Adventist College.