Unattended Self Service

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A facility at which motor fuel is dispensed without an attendant, employed by the facility’s owner, being present.

Unattended self-service is commonplace at commercial fueling facilities. In the past, fire-safety codes prohibited unattended self-service at fueling facilities open to the public. At a conventional gasoline station or Cstore, for example, regulations generally prohibited the dispensing of motor fuel unless an employee was present somewhere on the premises.

Today, fire-safety codes have been relaxed to permit unattended self-service. NFPA 30A, for example, provides that “unattended self-service shall be permitted, subject to the approval of the authority having jurisdiction.”

The International Fire Code makes similar allowances. Various safeguards are also stipulated in these codes: including emergency controls, posting of instructions, and a method for notifying the fire department of an emergency.