An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsroomNewsArticle Display

Article - Article View

Gasoline safety

Cheyenn Mountain Air Force Station, Colo. -- In 1980, there were 15,000 gasoline fires in homes. Each year since then, there has been a steady decline in the average number of gasoline fires.

Spark, ember or flame from operating equipment was the most common ignition source in home fires involving gasoline, followed by matches and lighters. In 2003-2006, municipal fire departments responded to an estimated 2,400 gasoline fires in U.S. homes annually. These fires resulted in 110 deaths, 313 injuries and $105.9 million in direct property damage.

Nearly half of these fires were categorized as unintentional. Fuel spills or releases, using gasoline to kindle fire, and gasoline too close to a heat source were the leading factors contributing to ignition in home gasoline fires.

There are several things individuals can do to prevent a gasoline fire within their home and keep their families safe.

· Keep gasoline out of children's sight and reach. Children should never handle gasoline.

· If fire starts 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 by the local or state fire authorities. Never store gasoline in glass containers or non-reusable plastic containers, such as 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 manufacturer's instructions when using electronic devices (those with batteries or connected to an electrical outlet) near gasoline.

This information is courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui