Gasoline is so much a part of our lives that we don’t think about how very dangerous and flammable this substance is. Over the past five years, Massachusetts hospitals treated 135 people for gasoline-related burns. Gasoline vapors ignite at a very low temperature. These fumes are heavier than air, and can travel a distance to find a spark. Gasoline is a tool, but a dangerous one that demands respect.

Safety Tips

  • If you need to carry or store gasoline, use an approved container. Make sure it is in a secured, upright position away from passenger areas, (separate trunk or pick-up bed) and that the fill and vent openings are tightly closed.
  • At home, always store these containers in a safe secure area, outside of living areas, (such as a locked shed or detached garage) and away from ignition sources such as pilot lights.
  • Keep anything that could provide heat to start a fire away from gasoline. Never mix gas and fire. A spark or a lit cigarette is enough to light the invisible fumes that may linger on clothing.
  • Keep gasoline away from children. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 were almost twice as likely to get in trouble with gasoline and suffer burns.
  • If a fire starts while handling gasoline, don’t attempt to extinguish the fire. Leave the area immediately and call 9-1-1.
  • Remember to “stop, drop, cover and roll” if you are on fire.
  • Turn off your car when you get gas. It is important to monitor fueling operations. Do not leave fueling unattended. Do not wait in the car. Do not stick the gas cap into the nozzle. At self-service stations, remember to put the nozzle back and your gas cap on before driving off.
  • When refilling an approved gas container, place it on the ground, insert the pump nozzle and bring it into contact with the inside of the container. This will reduce the risk of static electricity igniting the vapors.