Natural gas refueling stations and station equipment are designed to codes and standards to ensure safe operation. The local Authority responsible for the safe handling of fuels and pressure vessels must inspect a station after installation and commissioning. An approval by the Authority must be secured before putting the station into operation. Any pressure-related station components must also have separate approvals which are denoted by their Canadian Registration Number (CRN). Natural gas refueling stations are designed with many features to ensure safe operation:
- Sealed system: Natural gas is dispensed into vehicles through a sealed system that ensures the flow of gas into a vehicle without any leakage into the environment. This sealed system prevents oxygen from entering the fuel system and eliminates any risk of fuel ignition during refueling.
- Connection to vehicle: Natural gas cannot flow from the station dispenser until it is properly connected to the receptacle on the vehicle. Natural gas will not flow out of the refueling dispenser unless it is connected to the vehicle.
- Emergency shut-off controls: In an emergency, shut-off controls are used to turn off the gas supply to the station. Other shut-off controls can be installed to shut down power and the flow of gas to the compressor.
- Remote monitoring: Stations can be monitored remotely via the Internet to detect and solve technical problems, and to control station operations.
Natural gas has properties that differ from those of liquid fuels. Fleet owners interested in natural gas must learn about the safe handling of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. No special training or protective equipment is required to refuel a vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). To refuel a liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicle, a face shield and gloves are needed to protect from frostbite and from the risk of breathing cold vapours.