Sockets for hoses of fuel tanker
Sockets for hoses of fuel tanker

Auto garage safety: Transferring gasoline

Transferring and handling of gasoline is one of the most dangerous activities in a repair garage. If this process is not completed properly, serious fires can result. The opportunity to extinguish a fire is short, and usually there is only time to evacuate the building. Burn injuries are common.

Why is gasoline so dangerous?

It is all a matter of flashpoint. This is a technical term, but it’s not complicated. Flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which flammable vapours are produced in ignitable concentrations by a liquid. For gasoline, the flashpoint is –43°C.

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An open pail of gasoline at room temperature releases flammable vapours into the atmosphere. The area above and around the pail is filled with invisible and explosive vapours. A spark, trouble light, static electricity or a cigarette can ignite the vapours.

How is gasoline transferred safely?

Vapour containment is key. If there are no flammable vapours in the atmosphere, a fire cannot occur.

A gas caddy is a large safety container with added features to siphon or dispense gasoline safely. The safety features include a two-way hand pump, flame arrestors, and a bonding cable to eliminate static electricity.

Have a shop that is involved in gasoline fuel system service work, replacing fuel pumps or changing gasoline? Ensure that tanks must have a gas caddy or enclosed pumping equipment. (Reference: provincial adoptions of Section “Fuel Tanks of Vehicles” of the National Fire Code of Canada).

We recommend:

  • Ensuring you have a gas caddy if you are involved in any gasoline transferring.

  • Establishing and reviewing proper gasoline transferring procedures with all staff.

  • Ensuring all new employees receive immediate training on gasoline transferring.

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.

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