Gasoline: Safety and Storage Tips
We depend on gasoline so often in our lives that we don’t stop to think about what we would do without it. We use it to fuel our cars, run our lawn mowers, and power up our boats, among other things. Its convenience goes unnoticed until a mishap occurs.
Gasoline is a very flammable liquid that must be handled with care. It can even lead to potential health problems such as respiratory illnesses such as worsening asthma, difficulty breathing, and skin irritations. Using gasoline irresponsibly can lead to injuries, fires, or other disasters. Gasoline is highly volatile, which means that proper safety measures must always be taken when handling or storing it.
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind to ensure that you and your home stay safe when handling gasoline.
Gasoline Can Safety
Use approved containers for gasoline storage.
Do not place the gasoline can on an elevated surface to fill it.
Gasoline Containers and Their Explosion Risks
If you use gasoline to power machinery or equipment containing small engines, taking steps to prevent accidents and injuries when using gasoline containers is absolutely essential. According to scientific tests carried out by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Fire Protection, the following conditions pose the most significant risk for an explosion:
Always Handle Gasoline Outdoors
Use a ventilated area when you are going to work with gasoline. Never fill up equipment indoors, even if it’s in a garage with the door open. Fumes can build up quickly and be dangerous. Make sure clean air is thoroughly circulating.
Gasoline and Cleanup Materials
Clean up spilled gasoline immediately with rags, paper, or sawdust, then dispose of the cleanup materials in secure containers that are designed for proper disposal. Don’t discard materials in toilets, drains, sewers, or garbage disposals. Doing so could start a fire or seep into streams, bays, lakes, or groundwater, causing contamination.
Contact your local government or hazardous waste disposal center about the safest way to dispose of a large gasoline spill.
If you’re using gasoline to power a lawn mower, generator, leaf blower, or other outdoor equipment, safely pour the gasoline into the equipment. Always allow machinery to cool off before refueling.
Most lawn mower engines are designed to use minimum octane-rated gasoline. Anything higher can easily damage the fuel system of the mower. Do not modify your mower’s engine to run on alternate fuels. If gasoline in the lawn mower’s small engine has not been treated with a fuel stabilizer, drain it into an appropriate container.
Always turn off lawn mowers before refueling.
Lastly, NEVER smoke or ignite flames when handling gasoline. Please do not allow children to handle gasoline; keep it out of their reach and sight.
By adhering to proper safety precautions, you can protect yourself and your household from gasoline dangers. Always exercise caution and common sense when handling the highly flammable liquid. If you have any questions regarding gasoline safety or are unsure of what measures to take, please consult your local fire department or contact a professional for further information. Your safety is of the utmost importance.