Gasoline Safety

Gasoline is so commonly used and easily obtained that people forget how dangerous it is. Consequently, many persons are killed or injured every year because of not handling gasoline safely. Keep in mind the points about gasoline safety that we outline below, whether you’re using gasoline at home or on the job. Gasoline is manufactured to be used only as a motor fuel. In this way, it can be a useful product. But when used in other ways, it can be deadly.

Have you ever used gasoline to clean your hands or to wipe off a piece of equipment? Have you ever spilled gasoline while fueling an engine? Have you ever started a fire with gasoline or smoked while filling a container? All of us at one time or another have violated these and other safety rules when using this potentially dangerous product.


  • Gasoline doesn’t burn. Do you believe that? Well, it’s true. It’s the gasoline vapors that burn. Gasoline evaporates at temperatures as low as 45oF below zero. The higher the temperature, the faster it evaporates, and the heavier the buildup of dangerous vapors.
  • Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and will collect at the lowest point in an area, unless there’s adequate air circulation.
  • An open flame isn’t necessary to ignite gasoline vapors. One spark is all it takes.
  • Gasoline can irritate the skin and cause a rash that can become infected. If you get it on your skin, wash it off with water right away. If you get it on your clothing, take your clothing off immediately. You could become a human torch.

Transfer gasoline from one container to another only in areas free from open flames, sparks, and where there is proper ventilation. Static electricity can be generated while pouring gasoline from one container to another. One method to prevent this build-up of static electricity is to keep the two metal containers in contact with one another. Or better yet, connect the containers with a bonding wire until you have finished pouring.

Disclaimer: The information and suggestions contained in these safety talks are believed to be reliable. However, the authors of the topics and the owners of this web site accept no legal responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency, or completeness of such information or suggestions contained within these topics. These guidelines do not supercede local, state, or federal regulations and must not be construed as a substitute for, or legal interpretation of, any OSHA regulations.