Tanks For The Memories

Tanks For The MemoriesLawn mowers. Boat engines. Barbecues. Even your car. Most of them have one thing in common: gasoline or propane. But that tank of petrol can be one of peril if not used with care.

The government has issued a series of safety tips designed to help fuel your summer with safety.
Handle gasoline safely

1. Gasoline should only be carried in approved containers certified by agencies such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC). Containers should never be filled right to the top because the gasoline expands when warmed and spillage may occur.

2. On the way home from the service station, carry containers in the trunk of the car with the lid propped open at least 10 cm. (four inches) to allow adequate ventilation.

3. Gasoline should be safely stored. Keep it outside the house, if possible—away from direct sunlight and any source ignition and out of the reach of children.

4. When using a lawn mower or any gasoline-powered tool, always let it cool completely (about 10 minutes for a standard mower) before refilling the tank.

5. Gasoline should be used only as a fuel. It’s far too dangerous to use as a cleaning solvent.

Refueling boats

Following these eight simple steps can help eliminate boating explosions, frequently caused when the captain fails to ensure gasoline fumes are cleared from the boat’s bilge.

1. Tie the boat securely to the dock.

2. Switch off the engine, don’t use electrical switches and make sure all passengers are ashore.

3. Extinguish all open flames, permit no smoking within three metres of the boat or pumps and have a fire extinguisher handy on the refueling dock.

4. On cruisers, “cuddy cabin?outboard craft and sailcraft, close all doors and hatches.

5. Put portable tanks on the dock—never fill them onboard.

6. When filling tanks, hold the nozzle firmly against the fill pipe and use a grounding cable, if available, to prevent static electricity buildup. Never overfill the tank.

7. Wipe up any spillage, then turn on the bilge blower, if you have one, for at least five minutes. On open craft with covered engines, open the hatches for ventilation.

8. Make sure there’s no smell of gasoline before starting the engine.
Propane barbecues

Check your barbecue for leaks and clean it thoroughly before using it for the first time each season.

1. Turn the barbecue control knobs off.

2. Move barbecue to an open, well-ventilated outdoor area prior to connecting fuel supply.

3. Connect gas supply to the barbecue and check all connections for leaks.

4. DO NOT USE matches, lighters, or flame to check for leaks.

5. With the barbecue burner controls off, slowly open the propane cylinder service valve; apply a 50/50 solution of soap and water with a small paintbrush to all connections; expanding bubbles indicate a leak; repair all leaks prior to lighting the barbecue. If you find a leak, close the cylinder service valve and re-tighten the leaking connection; test for leak again. If you cannot stop a leak by additional tightening of a connection, turn off the propane cylinder service valve; disconnect propane cylinder and call a TSSA-certified fuel appliance repair-person.

6. Check for spiders. Spiders and other insects sometimes make their homes in the “venturi?tubes that extend under the burners in your barbecue.

7. Spider webs and insect nests can clog these tubes and cause a fire.

8. Follow the barbecue manufacturer’s installation instructions on how to remove, clean, and reinstall the burner venturi tubes.

9. Look inside your barbecue and clean any blockages and replace any missing or worn “O?rings (small, rubber-like washer found where the regulator connects to the propane cylinder valve).

10. Look at the date on your propane cylinder. Remember that propane cylinders that are more than 10 years old must be inspected and re-certified by an approved facility; return damaged cylinders to your propane dealer.

11. Replace worn and rusted parts. Your barbecue needs to be free of dust, rust, and dirt; if there are old or corroded burners, they should be replaced.
Propane camping equipment

Portable gas-fueled appliances, such as camping stoves, heaters and lanterns can make life in a cabin a lot more comfortable, but they should be used with care because the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning exists. So long as the system is running properly, and there is an adequate air supply, it poses no threat to safety. Watch for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning including fatigue, nausea, headaches and dizziness. Exposure to significant levels of carbon monoxide gas can result in serious injury or death.

Using gasoline and propane

1. Make sure the product fits the need. It’s dangerous to use an appliance for a purpose not intended by the manufacturer. Also, make sure the size and power of the unit are appropriate for the amount of circulating air. As a rule of thumb, a square-inch opening (about 2 ?cm.) is needed for every thousand BTUs (British Thermal Units) of output. Tent heaters should only be used when fresh air is circulating, because the fabrics used in making modern tents seal so well that insufficient air may get through the flap screening when closed.

2. Read manufacturers?labels carefully. And review service instructions and operating directions before using equipment. Even if you’ve used the camp stove 50 times, make sure you know exactly what it is intended to do and how to operate it.

3. Inspect your used camping equipment and clean it carefully. Make sure dust, insects and tiny bits of debris aren’t blocking burner ports. Maintain your equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Protect against fire hazards. Naphtha (also known as white gas or camping fuel), kerosene stoves and propane barbecues are meant for outdoor use only.

5. Set up the equipment in a safe place. Make sure they won’t tip over, and keep them well away from combustibles, and out of the paths of children and pets.