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September 2, 2009
For immediate release

Fire Marshal's Office Reminds Islanders of Potential Dangers When Filling Portable Gasoline Containers

Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour

The Provincial Fire Marshal reminds Islanders that precautions should be taken to avoid a possible fire or explosion when filling portable gasoline containers (jerry cans).

“A static charge can be created under certain circumstances when using portable gasoline containers, and this spark can ignite gas fumes and pose a serious risk to anyone in the vicinity,” said PEI Fire Marshal David Blacquiere. “This is a concern twelve months of the year, as these jerry cans are often used to fuel equipment such as lawn mowers, chain saws, recreational vehicles and snow blowers.”

The Fire Marshal’s office says the following precautions should be followed when using portable gas containers:

1. The Provincial Fire Code states that portable containers must be CSA or ULC approved.

2. Gas expands as it warms. When filling a portable container, leave an air space of about 5% to allow for expansion.

3. Fumes pose a serious fire threat. Remove the approved container from the vehicle and place it on the ground and away from the vehicle before filling. When a container is sitting on a non-grounded surface, like a plastic liner in the back of a truck or a car trunk, a static spark could ignite the gas fumes.

4. Keep the nozzle in contact with the container during filling to reduce the chance of a spark occurring between the nozzle and the container.

5. Never engage a latch-open device (which may be found on pumps where you don't have to hold the nozzle) to fill a portable container. This type of container does not generate sufficient back pressure to turn off the pump.

For more information, contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at 368-4869 or

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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