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Is it safe to keep a container of gasoline in my trunk?

03 Oct 17
Alibhai
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I don’t worry about running out of gas since I keep a container of gas inside my vehicle and minivan. At the car, it’s in the trunk. I make sure that there’s no gas on the outside of it. My 14-year-old son says it is dumb — and an explosion waiting to happen. — Kevin, Airdrie, Alta.

Odds are, maintaining gas in your vehicle could end up being a fairly bright idea. Yep, we mean glowing as in fire.

“It is not safe. It’s not recommended,” said Carol Henke, spokeswoman for the Calgary Fire Department. “If the lid isn’t tight or if there is any escape, the fumes can escape and if they reach a certain concentration any heat source may cause them to ignite.”

And even if the fumes do not find a spark — from wiring or static power — you should not be them in.

“The fumes and vapours can make a driver light-headed and nauseous,” Lewis Smith, director, national projects with the Canada Safety Council, said in an email. ” [Jerry cans] should always be saved in well-ventilated locations, which rules out the passenger cabin of vehicles for obvious reasons.”

Just as there are still That static could , there is a long list of warnings on the sides of fresh Jerry cans, such as “keep out of reach of children and direct sunlight,” “shop in a well ventilated place” and “don’t store in home or automobile.”

Leaks inevitable?

There is a difference between carrying a gasoline can inside the cottage or trunk — for example, when shooting the can home from the gas station so that you can fill up your lawnmower — and keeping it all the time. Even if you’re sure the can’s lid is cozy, vapour can still get out.

“Plastic gas containers are designed for short periods of transport for flammable liquids, not for storage in confined spaces,” Maya Filipovic, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services spokeswoman, said in an email. “As temperature increases, gas expands, and so as to equalize the pressure, the container could discharge pressure by allowing gas vapour to escape{}”

That identical expansion occurs in your car’s gas tank, but it is intended to discharge the vapours safely to the outside, Filipovic said. And, unlike that plastic Jerry can sitting in your back, your car’s gas tank is protected from static and electric sources.

While fire department could point us to certain cases of vehicle fires caused by a Jerry can, the threat of fumes When a backyard shed exploded from the U.K. this summer. Researchers believe a faulty fluorescent light ignited fumes from containers and garden equipment.

“To make a potentially explosive atmosphere, there simply has to be a little bit of gas vapour present, no more than 1.4 percent,” Jamie Lister, West Yorkshire fire investigation officer, told reporters.

Unlawful to take unleaded?

Both Calgary and Edmonton Fire stated they were not aware of a provincial law against carrying a container of petrol in a car.

Gas is covered under Ottawa’s .

“It is essential that drivers understand that gas is dangerous and has to be transported safely,” Julie Leroux, Transport Canada spokeswoman, said in an email. “Gasoline must maintain one or more small containers designed, constructed, filled, closed, secured and maintained so that under normal conditions of transport, including handling, there’ll be no accidental release of the dangerous goods that could endanger public safety.”

The penalties could be $500 to $800. You need to use approved containers no two-litre soda bottles.

You’re permitted to continue to 150 kg of gas, so long as every container weighs 30 kg or less.

Better alternatives?

The Canada Safety Council does not advocate keeping gas inside your car or truck. So what is left?

“Preventing a [Jerry can] into a roof rack can be a possibility, but given the relative weight of the fuel it is important not to overload the car and throw off its center of gravity,” Smith said. “The roof-rack solution also includes the additional concern of a loose could flying off at highway speeds — clearly less than perfect.”

For those who have a truck, you can safely maintain a gas container at the bed of the pickup. And, for those who have an SUV, you can find a metal Jerry can mount installed on the rear of your car or truck.

“Ideally, gas should be kept at room temperature and away from heat sources [such as the sun],” Smith said.

When you are filling up a container, then take it from your car or truck. It has to come into contact with the floor to be able to eliminate any possibility of static electricity igniting fuel vapours.

And leave some space in the can. “They shouldn’t be filled to the brim, as gas can expand,” Smith said.

Better yet? Do not run out of gasoline. Be certain that you fill up early, particularly if you’re on a long road trip — do not test that number that reveals the amount of kilometres you have left in your tank.

“There could be extenuating circumstances where there are no gas stations, but on most highways in Canada, that is not true,” Calgary Fire’s Henke said.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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