The National Gasoline Safety Project Kicks Off Burn Awareness Week February 6-12

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Safety campaign teaches children and families that gas and fire never mix

When it comes to handling gasoline safely, especially around children, there are simply no excuses. Research shows that most parents know that gasoline is extremely flammable, and its vapors can explode. And they know that children learn from listening to what their parents say — and watching what they do.
 
During Burn Awareness Week, which runs February 6-12, the National Gasoline Safety Project is spreading the word to every parent: Gas and Fire Never Mix.
 
Local communities across the country are encouraged to organize their own educational events in support of Burn Awareness Week.
 
An independent national survey funded by the National Gasoline Safety Project found that the vast majority of parents (80%) do not use gasoline to start fires. Even those parents who do mix gas and fire know it isn’t safe and worry about risks to their children.
 
The study also found that parents who use gas to start fires mistakenly think it’s a common behavior. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of parents who use gas to start fires incorrectly believe it is something people frequently do.
 
“The truth is, most parents don’t mix gas and fire. They know it isn’t safe. But still some do, and put themselves and their children at risk,” said Amanda Emerson of the National Gasoline Safety Project. “Ironically, our research shows even parents who use gasoline to start fires know it isn’t a safe thing to do. But they think it’s something ‘everyone’ does. It’s not. And it needlessly puts children in harm’s way.”
 
The National Gasoline Safety Project is a collaborative effort by Shiners Hospitals for Children, Safe Kids USA, and the Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association. The initiative includes a web site, StopGasFires.org, where parents can view a video about a teenage gasoline burn survivor and connect with other concerned parents though email, Facebook and Twitter.
 
The initiative focuses on parents because they are their children’s first line of defense. Parents buy gas, choose where to store it, and teach their children how to handle it.
 
Every year, about 14,500 Americans die from burn injuries and burn-related infections. Another 1.1 million suffer burn injuries that require medical attention, according to Shriners Hospitals for Children.
 
Gasoline safety is one of many every day hazards that Shriners Hospital is focusing on during Burn Awareness Week 2011.
 
Gasoline Safety Tips

  • Gasoline is dangerous, extremely flammable, and its vapors can explode. Carefully read all cautions on all sides of gasoline containers. Review and adhere to all safety precautions when using a portable fuel container.
  • Gasoline should be kept out of reach and should never be used by children.
  • Never use gas to start a fire.  It may cause severe injury or death.
  • Do not store gasoline in your vehicle or living space.  Always store and use gasoline in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid prolonged breathing of vapors.
  • Keep gasoline away from heat sources.  Keep away from flame, pilot lights, stoves, heaters, electrical motors and other sources of ignition. Vapors can be ignited by a spark or flame source many feet away.
  • Gas is harmful or fatal if swallowed. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Call your physician immediately. Never siphon gasoline by mouth.
  • Always place container on the ground when filling to avoid static electricity ignition.
  • Keep gasoline containers closed when not in use.
     

About the National Gasoline Safety Project:
The goal of the National Gasoline Safety Project is to stop gas fires in every community. Data is scarce, but it is estimated that 1,500 children are injured or killed in gasoline fires each year. For survivors, the consequences of gas burns can be severe and lifelong. Our campaign is reaching out to parents because they are their children’s first line of defense. Parents buy gasoline, choose where and how to store it, and teach their children how to handle gasoline — both through what they say and what they do.  The National Gasoline Safety Project is sponsored by the Portable Fuel Manufacturers Association in partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children and Safe Kids USA.
 

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