Pouring Gasoline to Light a Fire Pit is Deadly

| August 1, 2014 | 0 Comments
Pouring gasoline to light a fire pit Follow Me on Pinterest

Do Not Pour Gasoline to Light a Fire in a Fire Pit! Photo Gasoline Vs Fire

Having a fire pit in your backyard can bring added warmth to a chilly evening. Thousands of people use portable fire pits while camping, millions more have one in their backyard. Every year hundreds of people are badly burned when pouring gasoline to light a fire pit. Despite all of the warnings about the danger of mixing fire and gasoline, far too many people still use it to get their fires going all year long.

Using gasoline to light a fire is one of the most dangerous methods of getting the fire going. Bear in mind that not only is liquid gasoline extremely flammable, but so are the fumes. While a person is pouring gas on the wood before they light a match, the area around the fire pit is filling with fumes. Once the match is struck, the vapors can and often do explode with extreme force. The flames will leap from the gas fumes to anyone around the fire.

Jet Powered Gas Cans or Flame Jetting

Most people who light a fire pit with gasoline tend to get away with it for years. For others it only takes once for them to end up in the burn unit with third degree burns. The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (ATF) along with a number of researchers have spent years looking into the various forms of accident related to lighting a fire pit with gasoline. One of the latest phenomena fire fighters are coming across is “Flame Jetting.” This process involves flaming gasoline “jetting” from the spout of the gas can. These flames can spurt out as far as 14 feet under the right conditions. The resulting spray of burning fuel often ends up covering anyone unlucky enough to be standing around in a roaring inferno.

This video demonstrates the phenomenon of flame-jetting.

What Causes Flame Jetting?

Flame jetting is a direct result of gasoline fumes mixing with air and an open flame. The fumes mix together they form a highly combustible mixture. Once the fumes reach the open flames such as when pouring gasoline to start a fire in a fire pit, the flames will follow the fumes all the way back to their source. As the flames reach the source of the fumes inside the gas can, the fumes are ignited forcing the now burning gasoline out of the gas can under pressure. Sadly, there do not have to be live flames in order for this phenomenon to occur. In many cases it happens when a person is using gasoline to light a fire pit they believe has burned out. It only takes one hot ember to cause the fumes flowing out of the gas to burst into flame. The only way to stay safe is to never use gasoline to start a fire pit, you should use a starter log, newspaper, or even a propane torch to get things started.

The following video will clearly demonstrate the painful consequences of how pouring gasoline to light a fire pit is deadly. Viewer discretion advised.

The video below is what NOT TO DO AT HOME or anywhere else for that matter. These folks think this is funny but it could have been more serious as the prior videos demonstrate.

Gasoline Safety Tips

Gasoline is a highly flammable liquid and must be handled with care at all times. If you store gas at your home, it should be stored in an approved container. Make certain the lid or spout to the container is kept tightly closed when not in use. Never put gas into anything that is not an approved container as the wrong type of container can explode.

Gasoline Storage Safety

You should never have a gas can anywhere near your fire pit or any other type of open flame. If you have a natural gas or propane water heater or furnace in your garage, find somewhere else to store your gas cans. Even tightly closed they can leak explosive fumes into the room. If any of your cans are damaged or dented dispose of them, and buy new ones to reduce the risk of leakage and fire.

What to Do in the Event of a Burn

In the event someone in your party, even yourself, finds themselves engulfed in flames as the result using gasoline to light a fire pit, remember the most basic steps taught in school. These are stop, drop, and roll. The idea is to smother the fire on the ground and reduce the amount of damage done. Call an ambulance immediately and then see to the burn victim. Try to gently wash the burn with cool (not ice cold) water. If the water is too cold, it could send the person into shock. Leave their clothes in place and cover the burned areas with cool damp cloths or towels. This will help to protect the burn areas until the ambulance arrives or until you can get them to an emergency room for proper treatment. To prevent accidents, learn how to start a fire in a fire pit properly.

Filed Under: Blog