I have always been a connoisseur of food growing up in a family of cooks who owned a local diner. At home we would always have a hamburger as a weekend treat fresh off the grill. This week a new commercial started circulating that talks about the difference in flat top burgers and flame grilled but it says they are blowing up the competition. Working and volunteering with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors for the last 16 years has given me a new perspective on why burns can be so devastating. I have met many survivors that decided to add gasoline to a burn pile or had a gas can too close when they start a fire. The results have been fatal sometimes but many more people have a lifetime of surgeries and skin grafts from the explosive nature of gasoline. In spite of the fact we gas up our cars a couple times a week, and there are warning signs at the gas pumps, many people don't realize the dangers of gasoline. This fast food commercial dramatizes a gasoline explosion which in too many cases ends badly. To keep your family safe anytime you are using gasoline, follow these safety tips;
- Keep gasoline out of children's sight and reach. Children should never handle gasoline.
- If fire does start while handling gasoline, do not attempt to extinguish the fire or stop the flow of gasoline. Leave the area immediately, and call for help.
- Do not use or store gasoline near possible ignition sources (i.e., electrical devices, oil- or gas-fired appliances, or any other device that contains a pilot flame or a spark).
- Store gasoline outside the home (i.e., in a garage or lawn shed) in a tightly closed metal or plastic container approved by an independent testing laboratory or the local or state fire authorities. Never store gasoline in glass containers or non-reusable plastic containers (i.e., milk jugs).
- Store only enough gasoline necessary to power equipment and let machinery cool before refueling it.
- Never use gasoline inside the home or as a cleaning agent.
- Clean up spills promptly and discard clean-up materials properly.
- Do not smoke when handling gasoline.
- Never use gasoline in place of kerosene.
- Use caution when fueling automobiles. Do not get in and out of the automobile when fueling. Although rare, an electrical charge on your body could spark a fire, especially during the dry winter months.
- Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors. Place the container on the ground before filling and never fill containers inside a vehicle or in the bed of a pick-up truck.
- Follow all manufacturers instructions when using electronic devices (those with batteries or connected to an electrical outlet) near gasoline.
For more safety tips and information visit www.nfpa.org/safetytips or www.stopgasfires.org.