In a past post, we discussed the safety specifications for consumer turf care equipment- pedestrian-controlled mowers and ride-on mowers. The gasoline fuel systems in many lawn mowers and similar off-road ground supported outdoor power equipment pose their own safety concerns when in operation. ANSI/OPEI B71.10-2018: Off-Road Ground-Supported Outdoor Power Equipment – Gasoline Fuel Systems – Performance Specifications And Test Procedures is the American National Standard for gasoline fuel systems for off-road ground supported outdoor power equipment.
Using information gathered by the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that an estimated 100 fires occurred involving gasoline fueled lawn mower equipment in 2002. From these fires, there was an estimated 10 injuries as well as $1.7 million in property loss. ANSI/OPEI B71.10-2018 provides guidelines that help to counteract these issues.
ANSI/OPEI B71.10-2018 has a scope including safety specifications that are relevant to the gasoline fuel systems of a variety of off-road ground-supported outdoor power equipment with spark ignition engines of less than one liter displacement. Some machines that are applicable to ANSI/OPEI B71.10-2018 include the following:
- Walk-behind lawn mowers
- Riding lawn mowers
- Snow throwers
- Powered log-splitters
ANSI/OPEI B71.10-2018 has information on the integrity of fuel tanks, fuel lines, fuel filters, fuel system elastomeric component integrity, and fuel shut-off valve integrity. In the standard, one can also find test procedures on a variety of different components.
ANSI/OPEI B71.10-2018 revises the 2013 edition of the same standard, so it has undergone some changes. They include:
- Amended the scope to recognize typical equipment types for which ANSI/OPEI B71.10-2018 is intended.
- Fuel tank impact resistance testing has been added.
- A provision was added that non-metal fuel lines shall be qualified in compliance with the performance criteria of SAE J30.
- Performance specification for in-line, plastic fuel filters have been added. These new performance specifications include impact resistance testing, production leak testing fuel resistance testing, and UV resistance testing.
- Performance specifications have been added for elastomeric component. These new performance specifications include elevated temperature fuel soak for all tanks assembly designs incorporating elastomeric components, ozone resistance testing, and fuel resistance testing.
- Performance specifications have been added for fuel shut-off valves. These specifications include production UV resistance testing, leak testing, fuel resistance testing, impact resistance testing, temperature testing, and actuation performance testing.