Safety urged around vapours

The Vernon Fire Department is urging residents to know the facts to prevent explosions and fires.

  • May. 6, 2012 7:00 p.m.

It’s time to start up the lawn mower, but residents should be careful when storing gas.

The Vernon Fire Department is urging residents to know the facts to prevent explosions and fires.

“Gasoline can be more dangerous than dynamite because it emits invisible, explosive vapours that ignite easily, even at low temperatures,” said Lawrie Skolrood, deputy fire chief

“Vapour from gasoline is also heavier than air and so it travels close to the floor where it can easily come into contact with sparks from electric motors, water heaters, furnace motors and switches. Sparks or open flames can ignite vapours a great distance from their source.”

By law, gasoline must be stored in safety containers which have been approved by a nationally recognized and certified agency. Approved containers display these labels prominently.

However, care must be taken even though these containers are designed to prevent spillage. Minor gasoline spills should be cleaned up immediately.

Anyone using or storing gasoline should keep an appropriate class B fire extinguisher nearby since it is designed to extinguish gasoline or other flammable liquid fires.

Never store gasoline in basements, metal sea can storage containers, pits or other confined areas. Gasoline must be stored in areas that are well-ventilated, free from ignition sources and in areas permitted by the B.C. fire code.

Never refuel vehicles, machinery and tools in areas that are not well ventilated or near ignition sources.

Never store or transport gasoline in glass, in metal cans with plastic parts or in plastic containers which have not been approved for these uses.

Never smoke while you are handling gasoline or other flammable liquids.

Never use gasoline to start your barbecue or as a cleaner or solvent.

In case of major spills – Get out and stay out!

• Clear people from the area immediately.

• Open exterior doors and windows to ventilate the area.

• Call the fire department from a neighbour’s phone.

• Do not operate light switches, electrical appliances or any other source of sparks.

• Don’t light matches or lighters, and extinguish cigarettes immediately.

• Do not re-enter the area until the hazard has been eliminated.

Call the Vernon Fire Department at 250-542-5361 if you have questions concerning the safe storage and use of gasoline.