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Gasoline is so commonly used and easily obtained that people forget how
dangerous it is. Consequently, many persons 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
have violated these and other safety rules when using this potentially dangerous
SOME FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GASOLINE
- Gasoline doesn't
burn. Do you believe that? Well, it's true. It's the gasoline vapors that burn.
Gasoline evaporates at temperatures as low as 45oF below zero. The
higher the temperature, the faster it evaporates, and the heavier the buildup of
- 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.
You should have surmised from the above facts that it's dangerous to use
gasoline to clean tools or parts or to remove grease from your hands.
Don't store gasoline in
the wrong kind of a container. Sometimes, glass containers are used to hold this
liquid. For example, a man going on a camping trip filled a glass jar with
gasoline and put it in the back of the car. As he was driving through the
mountains, his car hit a bad bump. The jug broke and the gasoline vapors caught
fire. The car burned - along with the driver and his family. Keep
gasoline in a safety can, such as those listed for this purpose by the
Underwriters Laboratories. Mark the container with the word
"gasoline", so that people will not mistake it for something else.
An empty gas container is more dangerous than a full one. If the
lingering vapors inside the can mix with the proper amount of air and are
ignited, a violent explosion will result. That's why it's so important to
thoroughly clean any empty containers previously filled with gasoline before
welding or soldering on them.
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.
DON'T BE SELFISH
Today you have seen that handling gasoline improperly can be as dangerous as playing Russian Roulette or sticking your head into a loaded cannon. Don't keep the tips you have learned about gasoline to yourself. Pass them on to your family, so they'll never misuse this dangerous substance found so of ten around the home.
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