TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3 EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 17.49 DATE: December 3, 2017
SUBJECT: STORAGE OF GASOLINE IN CANS
It's that time of the year again when we need to get ready for power outages. Even though power outages can happen at any time of the year, winter is the worst time. Without electrical power you may not be able to stay warm. If you have a back-up generator do you have enough fuel to last you until the power comes back on? If you have the fuel is it gasoline? How and where do you store it?
What does the storage of gasoline have to do with communications? Well, by keeping your house from burning down may keep your communications on the air. So the question is, where do you keep your gasoline stored? Is it in an approved gasoline can? Is the storage area in a safe place, or in a building that is prone to flooding?
During a flood this problem will be a concern. The flood water will only be part of the problem. The major problem is when the water reaches a certain level, gasoline cans will turn over and spill into the flood water. Since gasoline is lighter than water the gasoline will float on top of the flood waters.
Those same flood waters will enter any other buildings and houses in the flood water. The gasoline might ignite if they reach an ignition source such as a hot water tank or other device that is burning, or has a pilot light.
You may not realize it, but a spilled can of gasoline floating on water can spread out and burn as if it were poured on concrete. Always store your gasoline in an approved storage container, in an out building, or similar building not prone to flooding, and where there are NO open flames. NEVER store gasoline in your house or basement. Remember, it's not the gasoline that burns, it is the UNSEEN FUMES that burn. If you can smell gasoline fumes, there's a chance they may ignite. Also, the gasoline-to- air mixture determines how fast it will burn. Just be safe and store gasoline and other flammable substances in an approved container, and a safe place. Protect your home and your hamshack, as well as your neighbor’s home.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV