John Del Santo mcbwaycool at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 23 17:11:58 PET 2011

                                                             by John Del Santo
One of the liquids most essential to human life,  our  life anyway, is gasoline.  It is also one of the most volatile and dangerous liquids you can handle.  Professional fuel suppliers use extreme caution with their operation.  They double-ground everything;  use non-sparking metals for connectors;  all electrical connections are enclosed and spark-proof; anything that can create a flame is kept a minimum of 25 feet away from a fuel source;  and all fuel-handlers are trained in the proper care of the product.    And yet….the average homeowner very often has a small can of this liquid dynamite in the garage,  mere feet away from where the family sleeps.  
The fumes from one gallon of gasoline can have the explosive equivalent of 14 sticks of dynamite.  Fumes lay on the ground and spread with the slightest breeze and can ignite with a flashpoint of only about 112 degrees! !  You would rather have a Rattlesnake living in your garage.  The pilot light from a gas hot water heater is a clear and present danger.  The start of a small electric motor,  a spark from a steel bootnail on a concrete floor, or even static electricity from nylon clothing or a nylon bed-liner in the pickup truck can ignite gasoline fumes.   We shouldn’t use it,  pour it,  or store it inside the basement, garage, or any other building.   That can of gas you have for the lawnmower should stay out in the yard.  An almost-empty gas can is a fume-filled bomb waiting for an excuse to go off !  If you spill any  amount of gas,  wash it down with a LOT of water to neutralize it.  Check your bike and car for small leaks
 regularly…. A very small gas leak onto the garage floor has ignited, caught a motorcycle on fire,  and then burned down homes.  
If you take gas cans to the station for filling, “ground” them by setting them on the ground  to fill them ….not in the back of the pick-up…and keep the nozzle touching the lip of the can.  There have been some spectacular explosions caused by this mistake recently.  
Without gasoline, we would be pushing our Bike down the road,  or pedaling a ten-speed to Sturgis.  Yes, it is a liquid that is essential to our lifestyle,  but we need to give it the care and caution it deserves.  The life of your family could depend on it

John Del Santo
( 619 ) 223-0421   


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