working with gasoline

Working with Gasoline

Gasoline is so commonly used and easily obtained that people forget how dangerous it is. Consequently, many people are killed or injured every year because of not handling gasoline safely. Keep in mind the points we will discuss today whether you’re using gasoline at home or on the job. Gasoline is manufactured to be used only as a motor fuel. In this way, it can be a useful product. But when used in other ways, it can be deadly.

Have you ever done this?

Have you ever used gasoline to clean your hands or to wipe off a piece of equipment? Have you ever spilled gasoline while fueling an engine? Have you ever started a fire with gasoline or smoked while filling a container? All of us, at one time or another has violated these and other safety rules when using this potentially dangerous product.

Some facts you should know about gasoline:

  • Gasoline does not burn. It’s the gasoline vapors that burn. Gasoline evaporates at temperatures as low as -45˚F. The higher the temperature, the faster it evaporates, and the heavier the buildup of dangerous vapors.
  • Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and will collect at the lowest point in an area unless there’s adequate air circulation.
  • An open flame isn’t necessary to ignite gasoline vapors. One spark is all it takes.
  • Gasoline can irritate the skin and cause a rash that can become infected. If you get it on your skin, wash it off with water right away. If you get it on your clothing, take your clothing off immediately. You could become a human torch.

Gasoline storage

Don’t store gasoline in the wrong kind of a container. Sometimes, glass containers are used to hold this liquid. Gasoline is required to be stored in an approved Safety Can.  These contain a spring-loaded lid and spark arresting screen to prevent fires.

Transferring gasoline from one container to another

Transfer gasoline from one container to another only in areas free from open flames, sparks, and where there is proper ventilation. Clean up any spills immediately. Static electricity can be generated while pouring gasoline from one container to another. One method to prevent this build-up of static electricity is to keep the two metal containers in contact with one another. Or better yet, connect the containers with a bonding wire until you have finished pouring.


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