For Immediate Release: July 6, 2012
Safe Kids NC Reminds Parents That Gas and Fire Don't Mix
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin offers gasoline safety tips for a safe summer
RALEIGH -- Whether grilling outdoors or gathering around the campfire, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin, and Safe Kids North Carolina, are reminding families this summer to reduce burn injuries and spread the message that gasoline and fire never mix.
"Fun summer rituals can quickly turn tragic when parents don't follow safe gasoline handling practices," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, state chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "Helping us spread the word that gas and fire never mix, we can help ensure a safe summer."
The vast majority of parents today do not use gasoline to start fires, according to a national survey funded by the National Gasoline Safety Project. But the study found that parents who do use gas to start fires mistakenly think it's something "everybody" does. These parents are also twice as likely as other parents to think it's hard to start a fire without gas.
Though gasoline burn data is not directly tracked, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System estimates 1,500 children a year are injured or killed in gasoline fires, according to monitored hospital admissions. Overall, 14,500 Americans die each year from burn injuries and burn-related infections.
Insurance Commissioner Goodwin reminds parents about the following gasoline safety tips:
- Never use gas to start a fire. Parents who mix gas and fire put themselves — and anyone near them — at risk of injury or death. Kids also learn by example.
- Talk to your kids about the hazards of gasoline. Teenager Austin Bailiff nearly died in a gasoline fire. Share his video with your child at StopGasFires.org.
- Keep gasoline out of reach of children. Out of sight isn't enough, for any age. Store your gasoline where children cannot access it. Many parents keep their gas in a locked location.
- Use a proper container. Never use old soda bottles or other makeshift containers to store gas; someone might think it's a beverage and drink it. And even a small cup of gasoline can emit vapors and may ignite.
- Store gas in a well-ventilated area outside your vehicle and living space. Consider a detached garage or outdoor storage shed.
- Keep gasoline away from any source of heat, spark or flame. Even common household appliances like water heaters and clothes dryers can ignite gas vapors.
- Read the warning label on your gas can. A list of safety precautions is imprinted on every approved portable gasoline container. Make sure you read the warnings if you store gasoline at home.
- Visit StopGasFires.org for more information and to help spread the word to other parents.
Safe Kids North Carolina reaches out to parents, caregivers and children to prevent childhood injuries through 38 Safe Kids Coalitions working in 66 counties. For more information, visit www.ncsafekids.org