Skip to page contents
City of Bellingham, WA
Contact Us Site Map
You are here: Home) Services ) Safety ) Education ) Gasoline Safety

Gasoline Safety

Gasoline is readily available and routinely used in most households. In spite of the routine use of gasoline, many people are unaware of or unappreciative of the dangers of gasoline.  Gasoline is dangerous because it is highly volatile. The fumes are capable of ignition up to12 feet away from a pooled source. It can float on water and may spread long distances, making ignition and flash back possible. Gasoline may ignite from a nearby spark, flame, or even static electricity and become a "fireball" with a temperature of 15,000 degrees F.

Two physical properties explain why gasoline is significantly more hazardous than other flammable liquids found in the home:

Example Liquids and Their Properties

Substance Class Flash Point Vapor Density**
Gasoline Flammable Liquid -45 o F 3-4
Propane Flammable Liquid -156 o F 1.56 @ 32 o F
Ethanol Flammable Liquid 55 o F 1.6
Methanol Flammable Liquid 52 o F 1.1
Turpentine Flammable Liquid 95 o F 4.8
Kerosene Combustible Liquid 100 o F 4.5
Diesel Fuel Combustible Liquid 125 o F >1
Safety Solvent Combustible Liquid 100-140 o F 4.8
Paint Thinner Combustible Liquid 105 o F 4.9

Gasoline is termed Flammable because of its Low Flashpoint and High Vapor Density.

Kerosene and Diesel Fuel are termed Combustible because their Flashpoint is greater than 100 degrees F.

Gasoline produces ignitable vapors that are 3 to 4 times heavier than air and can travel for great distances along the ground. Gas vapors tend to accumulate in low or enclosed spaces.  These vapors can then be ignited by a nearby open flame, such as a pilot light of a water heater.

The vast majority of gasoline-related burn injuries and deaths involve males under the age of 45. Most occur between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

1 gallon of gasoline = 20 sticks of dynamite!

=  

 

 

 

Two simple rules regarding gasoline:

  1. Gasoline has only ONE function:   Never use gasoline as a cleaning fluid or solvent.
  2. Gasoline should never be used or stored indoors or in close proximity to sources of heat or flame.

Gasoline Safety


Common causes of gasoline burn injuries

Top of Page ^ Top of page