Gasoline and fuel safety, storage and disposal tips

Safety & storage  

Keeping you and your family safe around fuel.

How to handle fuel safely

Esso-branded service stations adhere to strict safety practices to help keep customers safe at all times. But please remember, gasoline and diesel fuels are flammable, and therefore they can be dangerous, so always use caution. Never smoke anywhere near where fuel is handled, especially at the pump.

Additional cautions when handling gasoline

  • If you get gasoline on your skin, wash with soapy water right away to avoid potential skin irritations. Do not smoke or light a match until you are sure all gasoline has been removed
  • If you get gasoline on your vehicle, wipe it with a rag or paper towel. Do not smoke or light a match until you are sure all gasoline has been removed
  • Gasoline should only be used for its intended purpose – as a motor fuel. Never use gasoline in kerosene heaters or lamps
  • Do not mix gasoline with kerosene or diesel. Also, do not use gasoline in kerosene heaters or lamps

Safety precautions at the station

As you know, gas stations are busy places with lots of vehicles and people moving around. We recommend that your children remain in the vehicle. As well, we recommend you refrain from using your cell phone when walking across the station.

How to store gasoline safely

Gasoline can be dangerous if not stored properly. It should only be stored when absolutely necessary in an appropriate container.

Guidelines for safe storage

  • Gasoline must be stored in an approved fuel can or tank – usually 20 litres or less. Be sure to leave some room in the container to allow for some expansion
  • Keep gasoline containers tightly sealed and handle them gently to avoid spills
  • Store gasoline at room temperature, away from potential heat sources such as the sun, a hot water heater, a space heater or a furnace
  • Store gasoline in a detached shed or garage – at least 50 feet away from ignition sources, such as pilot lights. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources
  • Be sure to check with your local authorities for any additional regulations regarding fuel storage


FAQs about safety & storage

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), there is no documented incident where the use of a cell phone was found to cause a fire at a gas station. But please remember to use your phone responsibly. Never use your phone when driving and make sure your car is parked safely and shut off before using your phone.
Try mixing vanilla extract with water and rubbing it on your hands until the mixture reduces or removes the smell. You can also use rubbing alcohol or lemon juice. Once the gasoline smell is gone, wash your hands with soap and water.
Immediately flush your eye with clean, lukewarm water. Do not rub your eye or put anything in it (such as eye drops). Seek medical assistance as quickly as possible.
In general, gasoline should be used within a month of purchase. When the engine will not be used for an extended period of time, it’s best to drain the fuel tank and then run the engine until it stalls. If you choose to store gasoline and follow proper storage guidelines, the gasoline can be expected to remain of good quality for at least six months.
Check with your local government or hazardous waste disposal center to determine the proper avenues for disposing of spilled gasoline. Place recovered gasoline and cleanup materials in approved, labeled containers for proper disposal. Spilled gasoline or cleaning materials should never be left on the ground or put in your garbage, drains, toilets or sewers. If you do, it might cause a fire, or seep into streams, bays, lakes or your groundwater.
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Esso and Esso Extra are trademarks of Imperial Oil Limited. Imperial Oil, licensee.
Sources:
"Tips for Safe Storage and Disposal of Gasoline." Tips for Safe Storage and Disposal of Gasoline. American Petroleum Institute (API), n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.
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