With the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack causing gas shortages in parts of the East Coast and Maryland, there have been reports of long lines at gas stations with some motorists traveling to remote locations to find gas reserves to stock up.
“Gasoline should only be placed into a vehicle directly or into an approved container,” State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci stated. “You’re not only endangering yourself but the other drivers around you when you place large quantities of gasoline in containers incorrectly or in unapproved containers. Firefighters and other first responders are also being put into harm’s way if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident”.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal wants to remind residents and commuters about safe ways to dispense flammable fuels such as (gas, diesel, or heating oil) into a portable container for proper storage:
- Flammable fuels should not be dispensed into portable containers over 6 gallons, and the containers should be listed and approved for the flammable liquid intended for the portable container.
- Portable containers should have a tight closure with a screwed or spring-loaded cover to prevent spills and vapors from escaping.
- When transporting gasoline in a portable container, ensure it is secured against tipping and sliding, never leaving it in direct sunlight or the trunk of a car.
- Flammable fuel should never be dispensed into portable cargo tanks or any other container not listed for flammable liquids.
- Never fill a container while located in the trunk, passenger area of a car, or the bed of a pickup truck.
- All containers should be placed on the ground and clear of possible ignition sources such as the exhaust from a vehicle.
- Fill portable containers 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.
- If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before placing the container in your vehicle. Report spills to the station attendant.
- Never smoke around flammable fuels.