Protecting Your Industrial Plant’s Oil and Fuel Reserves

If your industrial plant is like so many others, you probably have several outdoor tanks that hold onto oil and fuel reserves. These reserve tanks help keep your plant running, since they can channel the reserves into the plant when the reserves are most needed. However, you do run several risks with having your reserve tanks located out in the open like that. Here are some of those risks and some ways in which you can protect the reserve tanks.

Fire and Explosion

A lit match, lighter or cigarette is all it takes to cause an explosion with your reserve tanks. This is especially true with your natural gas and propane reserve tanks because a simple gas leak is more quickly ignited than an oil leak. Still, the easiest way to prevent these issues is to simply not hire anyone that smokes to work around and with these tanks. Post signs within twelve feet of the tanks and then post signs on and around the tanks too. Absolutely no smoking and no lit flames should be anywhere near the tanks. As long as your employees adhere to these very strict rules, the tanks will remain full and intact and will not explode.

Subzero Cold

Extreme cold can impact your oil and fuel reserve tanks too. With gas and propane, the molecules in these fuels slow down, making it a little more difficult to get adequate delivery from the fuel lines into the plant. With oil, because a little bit of water is present, ice crystals can form in the oil, and it won't pass as smoothly through the delivery line as it normally would. The ice crystals also make it a little more difficult to burn the oil because the ice crystals have to evaporate before the oil will burn. Address both of these issues by wrapping your plant's reserve tanks with heaters prior to the year's first frost.

Stolen Fuel and Leaks

It is less common, but stolen fuel/oil does happen. When a successful or attempted theft of oil and/or gas fuels occurs, the thief often leaves the valves open a little bit or open almost all the way. That creates leaks that are expensive. Along with the stolen fuels you end up with wasted fuels, something which your plant definitely should avoid. The best protection for this problem with your plant's outdoor tanks is to cage up the reserve tanks and lock the gates heavily.

For more safety and storage tips, talk to an oil and fuel company like Small & Sons Oil Dist Co.