Fires have been seen to suddenly ignite as people fill their gas cans at the back of their trucks that have plastic liners, or in cars that have carpeted interiors.
These fires are as a result of the static electric charge produced by the gasoline flowing from the nozzle of the gas dispenser into the gas can. The plastic liner and carpeting in the cars act as insulators that prevent the static electricity from reaching the ground.
As a result, the smallest spark produced easily ignites the gasoline.
It is important to always ensure gas can safety. Therefore, in this article, we take a look at some safety tips you should consider when handling your gas.
1. Be Cautious of Where You’re Filling Your Gas Can
You should first of all remove the gas can from your vehicle before you refill it. Place it on the ground and at a safe distant from your vehicle.
Never fill a gas can in or on a vehicle. Gasoline coming from the gas dispenser carries static electric charge.
To ground the static electricity, take the nozzle of the gas dispenser and touch the can with it before you remove the cap of the gas can.
As you fill the container, let the nozzle be in contact with the inside part to reduce buildup of static electric charge.
Never fill the gas can on a plastic surface.
2. Use Approved Metal or Plastic Gas Cans
Using the approved equipment helps to lessen exposure to the fumes produced by gasoline. These fumes are very dangerous as they cause one to feel weak and nauseous.
3. Keep Gasoline Containers out of Reach of Kids and Pets
Small children and animals can easily knock over gas cans and lead to spills and accidents. Furthermore, they can easily inhale the fumes or ingest the gasoline, which can lead to serious health effects.
You should always ensure that the gas can is stored somewhere safe that children and animals cannot access. Lock the can if possible.
4. Store the Gasoline in a Cool and Dry Place
Gasoline is highly flammable, therefore, it needs to be kept away from warm temperatures. Store it in a cool and dry place to prevent accidents.
5. Never Store Gasoline Containers in a Vehicle
Avoid storage of gas cans in vehicles. As it gets warmer, gasoline expands and produces vapor to reduce the pressure in the container. This increases the risk of it being ignited in your vehicle should it come into contact with any form of electricity.
6. Don’t Fill It Completely, Reach the 95% Level
It is absolutely important that you only fill 95% of the container to allow for expansion. At different temperatures the gasoline tends to expand.
7. The Cap Should Fit Tightly
The gasoline container needs to be completely closed after you’re done refilling it. The cap should be secured tightly to avoid spills that could lead to spontaneous fires.
8. Ensure that the Engine is off before You Refill Your Machine
Whether it is a generator, a lawnmower, a motorcycle or any other machine that you’re refilling with gas, make sure that the engine is shut off.
If the engine is on, electrical charges will come into contact with the gasoline and ignite it.
9. Refill Slowly
At the gas station, refill the gas can at a slow pace. Also, as you refuel your machines at home, do it slowly as well. This helps to prevent an overflow and reduces buildup of static electric charge.
10. Transport the Gas Can in the External Part of Your Vehicle
Never keep the gas can in the passenger cabin of your vehicle. The vehicle may be poorly ventilated and this is very risky. The gasoline tends to produce vapors which if inhaled cause a feeling of weakness and nausea.
In addition to those safety points, here are more:
- Keep gas cans away from direct sources of heat such as heaters, electric motors, and stoves.
- Gas containers should be closed when not in use.
- Never smoke near a gas can.
- Avoid inhalation of gasoline fumes as much as possible.
Gasoline is a highly flammable fuel that should be handled with care. A lot of people use gas cans to fill their machines at home. It is always important to be cautious when handling these containers because it is very easy to ignite gasoline.