Fuel and chemical storage in above-ground storage tanks is safer than it has ever been. New innovations and technologies in tank construction, as well as product delivery, monitoring, and dispensing, are making above-ground storage of potentially hazardous substances safer for all parties involved. Still, it’s important to be familiar with basic above-ground storage tank safety practices and information. In this week’s blog, we’ll talk about above-ground storage tank safety in order for tank owners/operators to familiarize themselves with these important concepts.
Above Ground Storage Tank Safety 101
Selecting the Right Tank
Different above-ground storage tanks are designed to hold different things. Everything from the construction of the tank to the materials it uses needs to be considered when buying a tank to hold a specific substance. One of the most important things to consider is chemical compatibility. Some chemicals may be compatible with many kinds of tanks, while others may need a specially designed tank for safe storage. It’s also important to consider the temperature and pressure ranges in which the tank is capable of operating. Many chemicals need to be stored at a specific temperature and pressure range or could risk leaking or even an explosion. Consulting with an experienced storage tank installer will help you find the right tank for your specific needs.
Tank Support Structure
Unlike underground storage tanks, which are buried in the ground, above-ground storage tanks need a support structure to secure them. This structure needs to be built on a solid and level foundation that can support not only the weight of the tank but the weight of the tank as it would be with a full load of chemicals or fuel. Consulting with a professional storage tank installer can help you understand the support requirements for various above-ground storage tanks.
Operating with Trained Professionals
Facility personnel who are not trained in the operation of storage tanks should not be permitted to participate in the delivery, monitoring, or dispensing of products from storage tanks. Storage tanks and their related components are designed with many safety features to prevent accidents, but at the end of the day, the human element is still present in the operation of storage tanks. This underscores the importance of using only trained personnel who know not only how to operate the tank, but what to do in any potential emergency situation, including a leak, fire, or other contingency.