Authorites warn against illegal fuel storage as truckers' strike looms

By TPN/PA, in News · 10-08-2019 10:00:00 · 0 Comments
Authorites warn against illegal fuel storage as truckers' strike looms

People who store fuel in jerrycans at home or in other buildings in Portugal are breaking fire safety laws, the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) has made clear, as the country braces for a strike by drivers of dangerous goods lorries.

In answer to a question from Lusa, ANEPC said that legislation regulating the technical matter of fire safety in buildings states that "in places of use in the interior of buildings and enclosed spaces the existence of combustible gases is only allowed in situations exclusively relating to bottles or canisters of LPG and … [other liquefied gas."

The same legislation, in relation to storage areas in buildings, also outlines a ban on the storing of combustible liquids, namely "combustible or toxic gases", in addition to "combustible liquids whose flash point is less than 21 º C ... or whose flash point is between 21 and 55 º C, in quantities exceeding 10 litres" and also "combustible liquids whose flash point is greater than 55 º C, in quantities exceeding 20 litres."

Storing combustible gases in breach of these requirements can lead to offenders being subject to fines ranging from €275 to €2,750, in the case of individuals, or up to €27,500 in the case of companies or other legal persons.

Meanwhile, an independent civil protection association, APROSOC, on Friday warned of a lack of safety in the transport of jerry cans containing fuel in Portugal, alleging that the authorities are failing to supervise this. In particular, the group’s president, João Paulo Saraiva, notes, in the event of a road accident the transport of such cans “increases the possibility of [vehicles] burning in the event of a fire as a consequence".

"There does not seem to be any concern on the part of the police authorities that should exist,” he said. “Yesterday [Thursday] we travelled several kilometers from Lisbon to Setúbal and there are no visible stop operations to check safety issues [such as] fuel transports.”

Sales of jerry cans in varying sizes have soared in recent days as drivers seek to preempt the effects of an indefinite strike by drivers of dangerous goods lorries that is set to start on Monday.

The National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers (SNMMP) and the Independent Freight Drivers’ Union (SIMM), which called the strike, have accused the road hauliers association, ANTRAM, of failing to comply with an agreement signed in May that brought to an end an earlier strike that had seen many filling stations run out of fuel.

The planned strike threatens to being the country to a standstill in August, since it will indirectly affect all types of transport

However, on Wednesday, the government issued an order that striking drivers must assure minimum services equivalent to 50% and 100% of the normal – a proportion that unions have pledged to challenge in the courts.


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