Gas up the motorcycles. Fuel up the water toys. Get the dirt bikes and ATVs ready to hit the road. Summer is the time for outdoor activities that rely on both fuel and common sense.
"Safety should always be top-of-mind for anyone using a motorized vehicle," says Dan Marshall, vice president of marketing and business development with Scepter, a leading manufacturer of fuel cans. "While the warmer weather brings a 'get out and go' mentality for many people, it's important to do so safely."
During National Safety Month in June, Marshall reminds people that it's essential to take safe steps when dealing with portable fuel containers.
"Whether you're gassing up the boat, taking a JetSki out on the lake, or filling up the lantern at a campsite, everyone needs to practice safe steps when dealing with any type of fuel," Marshall said.
Selecting a reliable fuel container
One way to stay on the safe side of refueling efforts is to make sure your fuel container has a Flame Mitigation Device (FMD). While it is never safe to have gasoline around fire or an ignition source, it makes sense to have additional protection against potential misuse or accidental exposure to a spark or hot engine. FMDs help to avoid the transmission of a flame into a container and then igniting flammable vapor inside the container. The FMD improves the ability of the container to safely and effectively function for the user and meet the other standards applicable to portable fuel containers.
Durable gas, diesel and propane containers feature a unique push spout for fast pours without spills. With a single motion, the user simply presses the lever up to unlock the child safety feature with the palm of the hand, and then squeezes the large button. The first squeeze is done when upright to vent the container. Then, the nozzle gets placed over the tank. A second squeeze allows users to pour just the right amount of fuel. A video showing proper filling and use of Scepter fuel containers is available on the company's website.
5 fast safety tips
Fuel containers should be handled seriously, keeping in mind the risks associated with invisible fuel vapors. The team at Scepter offers these safety tips for making sure fuel and fuel containers are properly used by consumers throughout the year:
n Never use gasoline or diesel to start a fire or ignite barbeques. This includes bonfires, burning leaves and outdoor campsite grills. Using fuel around any type of fire can result in a life threatening situation.
n Fuel should not be used to clean grease or glue off of any surface.
n Always turn off an engine and let it cool down before refueling (never add fuel while the engine is running). Gasoline can be ignited by a hot muffler.
n Never remove the FMD from a fuel container. Store portable fuel containers in secure, dry locations away from heat sources.
Seasonal checks on fuel containers
Marshall stresses that consumers should check to make sure fuel cans stored over the winter months are still in good shape for summer activities. Plus, "winter fuel" should safely be replaced with "summer fuel" for activities during warmer weather. Now is also the ideal time to make sure the fuel container itself is in good shape to handle all your summer needs.
"Older metal containers can leak both fuel and fumes, which are a danger wherever they're stored," says Marshall. "You don't want even the slightest spill of fuel in an area where a pet can unknowingly lick it up, or a container without a child safety cap if there are children in the family."