Tuesday, March 23


Avoid causing a fire
while pumping gasoline    
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Safe refueling and fuel handling guidelines for consumers

[MARCH 23, 2004]  Here are consumer refueling and fuel safety guidelines that will help keep you and your family safe when refueling your vehicle or filling up gasoline storage containers:

  • Turn off your vehicle engine.

  • Put your vehicle in park or set the emergency brake.

  • Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition, such as a camper or trailer heater, cooking units, or pilot lights.

  • Do not smoke, light matches or use lighters while refueling at the pump or when using gasoline anywhere else.

  • Use only the refueling latch provided on the gasoline dispenser nozzle. Never jam the refueling latch on the nozzle open.

  • Do not re-enter your vehicle during refueling. If you cannot avoid re-entering your vehicle, discharge any static buildup BEFORE reaching for the nozzle by touching something metal, such as the vehicle door, away from the nozzle, with a bare hand.

  • In the unlikely event a static-caused fire occurs when refueling, leave the nozzle in the fill pipe and back away from the vehicle. Notify the station attendant immediately.

Portable containers

When dispensing gasoline into a container:

  • Use only an approved portable container and place it on the ground to avoid possible static electricity ignition of fuel vapors.

  • Containers should never be filled while inside a vehicle or its trunk, the bed of a pickup truck, or the floor of a trailer.

  • When filling a portable container, manually control the nozzle valve throughout the filling process.

  • Fill a portable container slowly to decrease the chance of static electricity buildup and minimize spilling or splattering.

  • Keep the nozzle in contact with the rim of the container opening while refueling.

  • Fill container no more than 95 percent full to allow for expansion.

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  • Place cap tightly on the container after filling. Do not use containers that do not seal properly.

  • Store gasoline only in approved containers, as required by federal or state authorities. Never store gasoline in glass or any other unapproved container.

  • If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before you place the container in your vehicle.

  • Report spills to the attendant.

  • When transporting gasoline in a portable container, make sure it is secured against tipping and sliding, and never leave it in direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.

Additional safety guidelines

  • Do not overfill or top off your vehicle tank, which can cause gasoline spillage.

  • Never allow children under licensed driving age to operate the pump.

  • Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors.

  • Use gasoline only in open areas that get plenty of fresh air.

  • Keep your face away from the nozzle or container opening.

  • Never siphon gasoline by mouth nor put gasoline in your mouth for any reason.

  • Gasoline can be harmful or fatal if swallowed.

  • If someone swallows gasoline, do not induce vomiting. Contact a doctor or an emergency medical service provider immediately.

  • Keep gasoline away from your eyes and skin; it may cause irritation.

  • Remove gasoline-soaked clothing immediately.

  • Use gasoline as a motor fuel only.

  • Never use gasoline to wash your hands or as a cleaning solvent.

[News release from the
Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal]

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