and container specialties

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Franklin Park, Illinois, United States

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(*Above information was taken, copied and paraphrased from several petroleum company publications and the Texas Department of Insurance. Language many vary from company to company.)

Stop Gas Fires

GASOLINE DANGER EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE


VAPORS CAN EXPLODE NEVER USE GASOLINE TO START A FIRE

Gasoline is the major fuel source used to power cars, lawnmowers, boats, motorcycles, snow blowers, some tractors, and some light planes. It is so much a part of our everyday living that we forget how dangerous it can be if not properly handled or stored. The number one hazard of gasoline is fire or explosion. Liquid gasoline does not burn, but gasoline vapors do. Since the vapors are heavier than air, they move along close to the ground and can collect in low areas. Any ignition source (cigarette, match, hot exhaust pipe or any spark) can ignite gasoline vapors. When gasoline vapors ignite, one gallon of gasoline can explode with the same force as 14 sticks of dynamite.


HARMFUL OR FATAL IF SWALLOWED

Gasoline can also cause adverse health effects. Contact with the skin causes the skin to dry and crack. Prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors can cause dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Siphoning gasoline by mouth may cause you to swallow gasoline, which can cause vomiting. Gasoline may then enter your lungs causing chemical pneumonia. Chemical pneumonia can be fatal. Gasoline contains a toxic chemical called Benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen; therefore avoid breathing gasoline vapors or taking gasoline into your mouth.


When handling, transporting, or storing gasoline take all necessary safety precautions
  • ​​Gasoline must be stored in an approved container or tank. Gasoline containers must also be provided with an approved label as required by federal and state authorities. Storage in anything other than an approved container is strictly prohibited by fire prevention codes.
  • Keep gasoline OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS
  • Never store gasoline in the house. DO NOT STORE IN A VEHICLE OR LIVING SPACE – KEEP AWAY FROM FLAME. PILOT LIGHTS, STOVES, HEATERS, ELECTRIC MOTORS AND OTHER SOURCES OF IGNITION –VAPORS CAN BE IGNITED BY A SPARK OR FLAME SOURCE MANY FEET AWAY.
  • Never use gasoline as a cleaner, solvent or charcoal lighter. The vapors may float along the ground and contact an ignition source, causing an explosion.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling gasoline, even if you didn’t spill any. If gasoline spills on clothing, remove the clothing immediately.
  • Use gasoline in open areas where there will be plenty of fresh air and keep it away from your skin and eyes. Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors.
  • While filling a container with gasoline, remove the container from the vehicle and place it on the ground. (Never fill a container in a truck bed or trunk of a car.) Keep the nozzle in contact with the container. Fill the container only 95 percent full. This will allow the gasoline to expand during temperature changes.
  • When filling a vehicle or container with gasoline, turn off the engine.
  • Extinguish cigarettes, pipes, etc. Never smoke or keep an open flame within 50 feet of a gas pump or any refueling activity.
  • Allow gas-powered equipment, such as lawnmowers, to cool before refueling. Refueling hot powered equipment can cause the vapors to ignite or explode, resulting in severe injury or burns to anyone close by. Always move the gas container at least 50 feet from gas-powered equipment after fueling and before starting the machine.
  • When placing a container of gasoline in a vehicle, tighten both the container cap and vent cap.
  • Always place the container in the pickup bed or the car trunk. Secure the container so it will not slide around or tip over.
  • Do not leave the container in direct sun and remove it from vehicle as soon as possible. Heat will build up the pressure in the container.
  • Never place the container in the passenger compartment. Placing a container of gasoline in the passenger compartment can create a hazardous atmosphere inside the vehicle, which can ignite and is harmful if inhaled.
  • Following these rules for the safe handling of gasoline will reduce your chance of injury or even death.
  • ALWAYS VENT CONTAINER BEFORE USE
  • KEEP CONTAINER CLOSED WHEN NOT IN USE


Other sources of information about gasoline?

Contact your local fire department or local government to familiarize yourself with your local fire and building codes regarding storage of gasoline. You may also request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) covering the potential fire, health and safety hazards of gasoline, from your fuel supplier or service station dealer. If you have further questions, you may want to contact the National Safety Council or the National Fire Protection Association. The National Safety Council is a clearinghouse for information on storage and handling of flammable and/or combustible liquids (including gasoline). The National Fire Protection Association develops codes and standards as well as research and education for fire and related safety issues. 

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