In our line of work, we are handling gasoline at least every other day. We are either refilling our vehicles at a gas pump, filling a gas canister to fuel our spray rigs or we are pouring gasoline into our spray rigs from those containers. Since handling fuel is something we do often, we probably give gasoline as much caution as we do brushing our teeth. This is what makes handling gasoline so dangerous.
• Never smoke or operate any personal electronic devices during refueling. This includes cell phone and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Leave all electronic equipment in your vehicle. Not only could they create a static charge, but they also take attention away from the task of refueling.
• To avoid spills, do not overfill your tank. Remember to leave room in your tank for expansion, especially during the hot summer months.
• Place the container on the ground a safe distance from vehicles. Never fill a container when it’s inside a vehicle, trailer, trunk or pickup truck bed. The container must come into contact with the ground in order to eliminate any chance of static electricity igniting fuel vapors.
• Fill the container no more that 90 – 95% full to allow room for expansion. Overfilling a container can lead to a dangerous spill or distort the container.
• Wipe off any minor gasoline spills on the container before securing it in your vehicle. Ensure the container is tightly sealed, including the cap on the air vent. Never use containers that do not seal properly.
• Use gasoline as a motor fuel only. Never use gasoline as a cleaning agent, degreaser or to clean your hands. Remove clothing that gets gasoline on it.
• Never use water on a gasoline fire (Class B fire). The use of water will spread the fire. Use a properly marked Class B fire extinguisher.
• Allow gas-powered engines to cool before refueling. Refueling hot powered equipment can cause the vapors to ignite or explode, resulting in severe injury or burns to anyone close by.
• When placing a container of gasoline in a vehicle, tighten both the container cap and vent cap. Always place the container in the pickup bed or the car trunk. Secure the container so it will not slide around or tip over. Do not leave the container in direct sun. Heat will build up the pressure in the container.
As a precaution, make sure and fill your tanks in the morning before work and after lunch. If refueling is absolutely necessary at any other time, give the engine time to cool before refueling.