Emergency Instruction Signage at Unattended Facilities

Written by: Brian Pottebaum, Director of Training Services

An Unattended Facility is defined by the Petroleum Equipment Institute [PEI] as “a fueling facility where there are no attendants present to monitor operations”. If your facility operates unattended in Iowa for any amount of time, including 24 hour pay at the pump, overnight, or over the lunch hour, you must comply with the regulations enforced under IAC 567 Chapter 135.4(6)”f”.

IAC 567 Chapter 135.4(6)”f” requires the following for each unattended facility:

  • Designated Responder - Class B operator must be geographically located such that the person can be on site within two (2) hours of being contacted by the public, the owner or operator of the facility, or the DNR.
  • Appropriate Signage - Emergency contact information and emergency procedures must be prominently displayed at the site, which should include the name and telephone number of the facility owner, an emergency response telephone number to contact the Class B operator or designee (such as a 24-hour control room or emergency call center), and information on local emergency responders. 

Another helpful guidance when determining the appropriate signage at unattended facilities is NFPA 30A. This guidance advises that Emergency Instructions shall be conspicuously posted in the dispensing area including the following or equivalent wording:


In case of fire or spill:

  • Use emergency stop button.
  • Report accident by calling (specified local fire number).
  • Report location (include facility address).

This guidance also advises that each unattended facility have additional emergency response equipment accessible to customers at the fueling area, such as an Emergency Electrical Disconnect (E-stop button), Fire Extinguisher (80 B:C rated), and a telephone or another means to notify emergency responders. It is advised that the location of these items be grouped together with the above mentioned sign.

Additional petroleum release detection measures. Another regulation that has been imposed on the unattended fueling facilities includes additional petroleum release detection [IAC 567 Chapter 135.5(1)”e”] at facilities utilizing a pressurized fuel delivery system (i.e. submersible turbine pump). This is a separate requirement from the Emergency Instruction regulation. This rule requires automatic line leak detectors to be in place on pressurized fuel supply lines that have the ability to detect a 3.0 gph leak and then shut the system down, restrict flow (i.e. mechanical line leak detectors), or signal/alarm to trigger immediate action to address the issue.

At facilities implementing a signal/alarm or restricted flow, the operator must also conduct one of the following methods as a means to comply.

  1. Notification of the Class B operator by immediate electronic communication.
  2. Signage directing the public to contact the Class B operator or a designated contact. The sign must be immediately visible to the customer and state that slow flow or an audible or visible alarm is an indication of a possible release. The sign must provide a 24-hour phone number of the Class B operator or designee, and direct the customer to stop dispensing product.
  3. Daily visit to the site by a Class A, B, or C operator or designee. Visits shall include observation of every automatic line leak detector for shutdown, alarm, or restricted flow conditions. Methods of observing for restricted flow conditions may include dispensing product into a proper container or personal vehicle, observing a customer dispense product into a vehicle, or another method approved by the department. Owners and operators shall maintain an onsite log of site visits to demonstrate compliance with this provision. The log shall include the name of the observer and method used to observe the status of the automatic line leak detectors.

If you operate an unattended fueling facility and you still have questions about either of the two regulations, please contact the DNR for further clarification and enforcement of these rules.

2894 106th St. Ste. 220 Urbandale, Iowa 50323