Each year gasoline causes several thousand household fires, many of which result in injury and even death.
It is helpful to remember gasoline is a volatile liquid that is constantly releasing flammable vapors, which are heavier than air and accumulate at the lowest point in an area.
If released inside a building, these vapors sink to floor level and spread out across the room, and if these vapors make contact with an ignition source a flash-fire will likely result.
Gasoline Safety Basics
- Keep gasoline out of children’s reach and sight, and never allow children to handle gas
- Never use gasoline inside the home or as a cleaning agent
- Never use gasoline to wash mechanical parts
- Never use gasoline to start a fire in barbecue pits or cooking grills
- Never use gasoline as a replacement for kerosene or diesel
- Do not use or store gasoline near potential ignition sources, including gas-fired water heaters that contain a pilot flame
- Follow all manufacturers’ instructions when using electronics (including all devices with batteries or connections to electrical outlets) near gasoline
- Clean up spills immediately and discard clean-up materials properly
In the Event of Gasoline Fire
- Leave the area immediately, and call the fire department
- Do not attempt to extinguish the fire
- Do not attempt to stop the flow of gasoline
- Store gasoline outside in a garage or shed
- Never store gasoline in glass, or in plastic milk jugs and other non-reusable plastic containers
- Store gasoline in a tightly closed metal or plastic container designed, manufactured, and approved specifically for gasoline storage
- Store only the amount of gasoline necessary to power equipment and machinery
Fueling and Handling Gasoline
- Do not smoke while handling gasoline
- Use caution when fueling machinery and automobile equipment
- Never fuel machinery or equipment indoors, and always let it cool before refueling
- Place portable gasoline containers on the ground before filling, and only fill them outdoors
- Never fill portable containers inside a vehicle or in the bed of a pick-up truck, to prevent a static charge from developing
- Do not get in and out of automobiles while fueling … Although rare, this movement creates an electrical charge on your body that could spark a fire, especially during dry weather conditions
Over 1,000 home fires are caused by liquid propane annually, and these fires cause hundreds of injuries and deaths.
Propane is a flammable gas that is converted to a liquid before being stored within a cylinder or tank.
When released from its container, propane converts back to a gas and expands significantly; if this expanding gas comes in contact with an ignition source an explosion can result.
When first released, the gas is cold and heavier than the surrounding air, which creates a “cloud” of heavy gas that will stay close to the ground and collect in low areas.
Propane Safety Basics
- Never store or use propane gas cylinders larger than one pound inside your home
- Never store or operate a propane-powered gas grill indoors
- Always handle propane-powered equipment cautiously, according to the manufacturers’ instructions
- Have propane gas equipment inspected by a professional for leaks and faulty parts on a regular basis
- Follow the manufacturers’ instructions carefully when lighting pilots
- Leave the area immediately and call the fire department from outside the home if you smell a strong odor of gas
These fire safety statistics and tips refer to fact sheets on the National Fire Protection Association Web site, the authoritative resource for fire prevention information online.