Every year, the first week of February is National Burn Awareness Week. This campaign is designed to teach children how to be responsible about their health, while creating awareness about situations that may cause accidents. This year's campaign will focus on the proper use and storage of gasoline.
Due to its explosiveness, gasoline has been responsible for many burns and damages in the U.S. population, especially in children between 10 and 14 years of age, who are frequently found in emergency rooms with burns caused by gasoline or other flammable fluids. Between 13,000 and 15,000 cases of these types of burns have been reported.
The incidence of burns caused by flammable liquids usually increases during the summer, and this has been associated with agricultural and recreational activities, such as making fires, using boats, etc. Most injuries occur at home, and this can be explained by a lack of awareness on the explosive nature of gasoline. Knowing how to prevent these injuries can protect you, your family, and, in many cases, your properties.
It’s important to know that flammable liquids can burn, explode, or produce toxic gases at room temperature. However, this can happen with gasoline at any temperature.
According to the American Burn Association, these are the procedures you should follow to store gasoline safely at home:
Store gasoline in approved, red-colored containers (metal or plastic). Make sure they have adequate lids or covers and identify them properly.
Do not use plastic or glass bottles to store gasoline.
Do not store gasoline in the garage or inside the house, because the temperature inside these places can start a fire.
Store gasoline in ventilated, cold areas, and keep it away from sources of heat or sparks.
Don’t store more than one gallon of gasoline.
Store gasoline safely locked away while not in use.
Keep a Class B fire extinguisher near the gasoline storage area.
Make sure to keep gasoline out of reach of children.
In addition, you may want to get in touch with your closest Fire Department to learn about activities where you can find additional information for your security.
American Burn Association Gasoline Safety: Educator’s Guide. American Burn Association, Community Fire and Burn Prevention Programs. Retrieved on January, 2009 from http://www.ameriburn.org/Preven/GasolineSafetyEducator'sGuide.pdf
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