12 Tips for Staying Safe While Using Gasoline


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Individuals and businesses use gasoline regularly, so recent price changes and predictions of future shortages have driven many to start storing this liquid. This is easy enough to accomplish with a steel drum and drum pump. However, gasoline presents a serious fire hazard and should be stored properly. Everybody should keep safety in mind when storing gasoline for any period of time.

Fire marshals and fire departments are some of the best places to find out about local gasoline storage regulations. In many places, local fire codes restrict home storage of gasoline. 25 gallons is a common limit, but regulations vary depending on location.

The guidelines below will make gasoline storage safer for you and anyone nearby. Always use caution when you handle gasoline in any way.

Gasoline Storage Tips

1. Only store gasoline in containers that are approved for such use. Absolutely never put this explosive liquid in plastic containers, such as soda bottles or milk jugs, or in bottles or jars made of glass.

2. Always keep gasoline away from anything that might ignite the liquid or its fumes. This includes furnaces, water heaters and wood stoves. Remember that gasoline fumes are heavier than air.

3. Only keep the amount of gasoline you need; any more is a potential source of fires and explosions.

4. Work with gasoline outside to prevent fume buildup, which can occur indoors and create an explosion risk. Avoid inhaling the toxic fumes.

5. Prevent static electrical ignition by discharging static electricity buildup before handling gasoline containers. Turn off all engines and electrical devices, including cell phones, beforehand. This will greatly reduce the risk of explosion.

6. Use only containers that are manufactured specifically for gasoline storage. Many are colored red, as mandated by government rules, to signify their use and highlight the potential hazard.

7. Keep gasoline outdoors at all times. It might seem convenient to keep it in your home, but this could result in fume buildup and explosion. Also avoid leaving gas containers exposed to direct sunlight.

8. Always avoid smoking, using lighters or matches or talking on a cell phone while dealing with gasoline.

9. Close gasoline containers completely and keep them secured during transport to reduce the chance of spillage. Gasoline fumes will expand inside, so it's always best to underfill.

10. Use gasoline only as a fuel. Don't use it for cleaning or starting a bonfire. Gasoline isn't a replacement for kerosene or diesel, and it should never be mixed with those fuels, as this could create a major hazard.

11. If you plan to store gasoline for a long time, use Sta-bil or another additive to prevent buildup of moisture or loss of quality.

12. If you are storing drums of gasoline, use drum handling equipment to preserve the structural integrity of the drums during transport.

Keep in mind that gasoline is a serious hazard if it's not worked with safely. Only use gasoline for what it's designed for, and only store what you need. By taking the above precautions every time you work with gasoline, you can greatly reduce the risks of keeping plenty of fuel around for longer.
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