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Devon emergency services warn motorists to behave sensibly as petrol panic buying continues

Devon and Cornwall Police have called for the public to behave sensibly as panic buying petrol continues across the country.

Many petrol stations across the East Devon ran out of fuel over the weekend as driver queued for hours in fear of a fuel shortage to due to a reported shortage of HGV drivers.

Some have placed limits on how much fuel motorists can now purchase.

However, police have assured motorists that there is not a shortage in Devon and they should not panic buy.

A statement from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Please don’t panic buy fuel. Communities in Devon and Cornwall are being reminded that there is no fuel shortage in either county – and there is no need to panic buy.

“Concerns about a shortage of fuel have led to an increase in the number of motorists visiting filling stations.

“This has caused queues and congestion on some roads, which can cause delays to other motorists and have an impact on critical and emergency services.

“The current situation will not impact on the service Devon and Cornwall Police provides to our communities. We are calling for the public to behave sensibly and not panic buy.”

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service have also offered advice and safety tips for those storing petrol.

The fire service has advised that drivers do not to stockpile fuel and only buy what they need, as storing fuel at home or in your car can be a fire hazard.

However, they have offered the following advice for those who are storing fuel.

Legally, you can store up to 30 litres of petrol at home or a non-workplace premises without informing your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority.

You can store this in a suitable portable metal or plastic containers, one demountable fuel tank, or a combination of the above as long as no more than 30 litres is kept.

There is no specific legal requirement on the amount of diesel you are allowed to store at home, but you should follow the safety guidance around storing it on the government website.

Top tips to stay safe with petrol

– Don’t smoke near where your petrol is stored

– Make sure the container is tightly sealed

– Always decant fuel in the open air (not inside a garage or shed)

– Use a pouring spout or funnel

– If clothing is splashed with fuel, change it immediately

– Petrol vapour can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and in confined spaces, can cause dizziness and unconsciousness.

– Do not swallow petrol or diesel. If it enters the lungs or stomach, it can be fatal

Staying safe when refuelling your vehicle

Take care when filling your vehicle’s fuel tank, as spillages and leaks can be hazardous:

– Don’t overfill your tank

– Make sure that the filler cap is securely in place and not leaking

– Avoid filling the tank to the brim, as fuel expands and vapour can build up in hot weather

– Avoid overfilling containers and make sure they are securely fastened during transit to stop them from falling over and leaking

– Spillages on road surfaces, particularly diesel, create slippery conditions that are a major hazard to other road users

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