DOVER – More than 9,200 gas pumps across Delaware were checked and inspected for accuracy during 2012 by state Weights and Measures inspectors, the first line of defense to make sure Delaware consumers get what they pay for.
Add to that 3,721 retail scales, 234 fuel oil delivery meters and 478 retail price checks, among other inspections, and Delawareans can begin to get a sense of how the Weights & Measures Section of the Delaware Department of Agriculture affects their lives and businesses.
Friday marks the start of National Weights & Measures Week, March 1-7, by the National Conference on Weights and Measures, an opportunity to educate the public about the role of these behind-the-scenes workers. The first United States weights and measures law was signed by President John Adams in 1799.
“We help guarantee that transactions are fair to consumers and businesses, protecting people on both sides of the equation,” said Steve Connors, Weights & Measures Administrator. “It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing or selling five gallons of milk, 10 gallons of gasoline, 100 gallons of fuel oil or a ton of gravel. We help make sure that consumers get what they pay for. Businesses are protected because even a small error – a fraction of one percent, for example – can lead to losses of thousands of dollars.”
The state’s six Weights & Measures inspectors check items in the state sold by volume, measure or count. They inspect gas pumps and store scales annually, and conduct regular audits and inspections of shelf pricing and packaged product volume. Inspectors are assigned to each county. If a device – such as a gas pump, scale or price scanner – is found to be out of compliance, inspectors will take it out of order until it has been fixed and retested for accuracy.
In 2012, inspectors also checked 136 LPG vehicle tank meters, 83 grain moisture meters and 228 large-capacity vehicle scales, and performed 152 gas-pump octane tests. For net weight compliance, they inspected 1,115 package lots, comprising 19,099 packages, and audited 1,428 package lots, comprised of 6,012,195 packages. They investigated and resolved 66 complaints overall.
“Our inspectors are out in stores and at gas stations every day helping protect Delaware consumers and businesses,” said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. “They work quietly but efficiently to make sure the public can have confidence in getting what they pay for.”
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