(StatePoint) Following the Colonial Pipeline closure earlier this year, many people panicked.
“We saw people loading up on fuel using everything from milk jugs to plastic bags. That’s simply dangerous, irresponsible and not worth the risk. Dropping an unreliable container with gasoline could cause an environmental, safety or potential fire situation,” says Dan Marshall with Scepter, a manufacturer of dependable fuel safety containers. The company has been working for years to educate people on fuel safety.
During Fuel Safety Month in July, Scepter experts are providing crucial fuel safety tips:
At the Pump
• Put fuel in the proper container. Universally, red containers are for gasoline, blue are for kerosene, and yellow are for diesel.
• Never allow children to operate pumps. Never smoke at the pumps.
• Follow proper filling instructions for containers with Flame Mitigation Devices (FMDs).
• To refill containers, remove them from your vehicle, turn off the engine and place them on the ground a safe distance away.
• Fuel containers can build static electric charge during transport. Touch the container with the gas dispenser nozzle before removing its lid to ground the static electricity charge.
• Keep the nozzle in contact with the container when filling to prevent static charge build-up. If a static-caused fire occurs, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe. Immediately move away from the vehicle and notify the station attendant.
• Secure containers in your vehicle against tipping and sliding. Never leave them in a trunk or flat bed, or in direct sunlight.
• Never start or accelerate a bonfire, barbeque or grill with gasoline.
• Don’t allow children near fuel containers or running equipment.
• Don’t guess. Check the fuel type recommended for lawn and sports equipment. Follow all safety recommendations by the product’s manufacturer.
• Never use fuel for killing ant hills, wasp nests and beehives. Use only appropriate pesticides.
• Never use gasoline as a cleaning agent or to wash hands.
• Choose the right container for outdoor activities. While a Scepter SmartControl container is ideal for family chores, easy to transport Scepter Marine Containers are designed for boating needs.
• Use fuel only in well-ventilated areas outside where you won’t breathe in fumes.
• Don’t smoke when near fuel containers. One spark can cause vapors to ignite.
• Never fuel running equipment. If you run out of fuel during a project, let the motor cool before refueling. Fuel accidentally spilled on a hot surface could ignite and potentially explode.
• If a flammable liquid spills, immediately contact your fire department or local authorities for cleaning instructions. Restrict access to the area from children and pets.
• Know your fuel. Winter fuel is heavier, and a unique blend. Fuel available in spring and summer is different and should be used for lawn and sporting equipment.
• Dispose of any winter mix of gasoline by funneling it in your car. It will easily mix with the gasoline in your tank.
• Store fuel containers in a secure, dry location away from furnaces, hot water tanks, potential heat sources, pets and children -- never in vehicles or living spaces.
• Inspect existing fuel containers regularly for leaks or cracks. Spot signs of aging? Carefully dispose of the container and purchase a new one. Only purchase fuel containers from trusted brands available from top retailers featuring controllable flow, child safety features and an FMD (which should never be removed or altered). For consumers, Scepter offers rugged Scepter SmartControl fuel containers for gasoline, kerosene and diesel that substantially exceed ASTM and CPSC minimum standards, and include FMDs and child safety locks. Visit scepter.com for more information and safety tips.
There are many aspects of handling fuel to know to keep people, pets and property safe. This Fuel Safety Month, brush up on these crucial safety precautions.