Firefighters Team Up with National Campaign to Stop Gas Fires

Post 47 of 98

Goal of summer effort is to reduce burn injuries to children

Grilling outside and gathering around the campfire are summertime rituals for many families. This summer, parents and firefighters across the nation are working to keep outdoor fun from turning into tragedy by spreading the word that gasoline and fire never mix.

An independent national survey found 80% of parents don’t use gasoline to start camp fires — but those who do mistakenly think it’s a normal behavior. That disconnect between perception and reality puts those parents — and their children — at risk.

Parents are critical role models when it comes to teaching children how to responsibly handle gasoline. Don’t touch Daddy’s gas’ isn’t going to keep your kids safe. Kids learn from what their parents do as well as what they say.

Though gasoline burn data is not directly tracked, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates 1,500 children a year are injured or killed in gasoline fires. Overall, approximately 14,500 Americans die each year from burn injuries and burn-related infections.

The National Gasoline Safety Project aims to put an end to gas fires through parent-to-parent outreach. The initiative includes a website, www.StopGasFires.org, that allows parents to view a video about a teenage gas burn survivor and connect with others parents though email, Facebook and Twitter.

The National Gasoline Safety Project also has put hangtags on new portable gasoline fuel containers sold in the United States. The hangtags feature firefighters, a burn survivor and others across the country working to stop gas fires in their communities.

The National Gasoline Safety Project is sponsored by the Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association in partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children and Safe Kids USA.

Gasoline Safety Tips

  • Never use gas to start a fire. Parents who mix gas and fire put themselves — and anyone near them — at risk of injury or death. Kids also learn by example.
  • Talk to your kids about gasoline. Teenager Austin Bailiff nearly died in a gas fire. Share his video with your child at www.StopGasFires.org.
  • Keep gas out of reach of children. Out of sight isn’t enough, for any age. Store your gasoline where children cannot access it. Many parents keep their gas in a locked location.
  • Use a proper container. Never use old soda bottles or other makeshift containers to store gas; someone might think it’s a beverage and drink it. And even a small cup of gasoline can emit vapors and may ignite.
  • Store gasoline in a well-ventilated area outside your vehicle and living space. Consider a detached garage or outdoor storage shed.
  • Keep gas away from any source of heat, spark or flame. Even common household appliances like water heaters and clothes dryers can ignite gas vapors.
  • Read the warning label on your gas can. A list of safety precautions is imprinted on every approved portable gasoline container. Make sure you read the warnings if you store gasoline at home.
  • Visit StopGasFires.org for more information and to help spread the word to other parents.

This article was written by Chief Taylor