Fire Regulations for Above Ground Diesel Tanks

Updated November 21, 2016

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops, publishes and distributes codes and standards to minimise the risks and effects of fire hazards. NFPA policies regulate all aspects of the design, process and installation of above ground diesel tanks.


The building department must approve plans for above ground diesel tanks before granting a building permit. Tanks must be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions and meet all building code requirements. A fire brigade inspector must give a final inspection of the tank installation.


Above ground diesel tanks are not allowed in residential areas. Tanks are limited to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel in non-residential areas. Diesel tanks larger than 6,000 gallons are allowed in heavy industrial areas only. Tanks must meet the required distances away from property lines, public ways and important buildings. The tank fill connection must be 15 feet from structures or flammable materials, 25 feet from streets, building openings and property lines.


Place at least four, clearly labelled fire extinguishers within 30 feet of the tank. Label tanks with the word "diesel" in letters that are a minimum of six inches high on a contrasting background. Secure tanks against possible unauthorised use and tampering. Use vaulted type, projectile resistant tanks approved for above ground use only.

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