Gasoline and Propane


There has been a steady decline in the average number of gasoline fires in homes since 1980, when there were 15,000 fires.

Gasoline Safety

  • Never use gasoline to start a fire. Gasoline vapors are explosive and can ignite violently without warning.
  • Keep gasoline out of children's sight and reach. Children should never handle gasoline.
  • If a fire does start while handling gasoline, do not attempt to extinguish the fire or stop the flow of gasoline. Leave the area immediately, and call for help.
  • Do not use or store gasoline near possible ignition sources (i.e., electrical devices, oil- or gas-fired appliances, or any other device that contains a pilot flame or a spark).
  • Store gasoline outside the home (i.e., in a garage or lawn shed) in a tightly closed metal or plastic container approved by an independent testing laboratory or the local or state fire authorities. Never store gasoline in glass containers or non-reusable plastic containers (i.e., milk jugs).
  • Store only enough gasoline necessary to power equipment and let machinery cool before refueling.
  • Never use gasoline inside the home or as a cleaning agent.
  • Clean up spills promptly and discard clean-up materials properly.
  • Do not smoke when handling gasoline.
  • Never use gasoline in place of kerosene.
  • Use caution when fueling automobiles. Do not get in and out of the automobile when fueling. Although rare, an electrical charge on your body could spark a fire, especially during the dry winter months.
  • Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors. Place the container on the ground before filling, and never fill containers inside a vehicle or in the bed of a pick-up truck.
  • Follow all manufacturer's instructions when using electronic devices (those with batteries or connected to an electrical outlet) near gasoline.


The leading equipment involved in LP-gas home structure fires was a grill, hibachi, or barbecue.

Handle any propane-powered equipment cautiously and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Cylinder tanks for equipment such as stoves and ovens must be located outside the home.
  • Never store or use propane gas cylinders larger than one pound inside the home.
  • Never operate a propane-powered gas grill inside the home.
  • Have propane gas equipment inspected periodically by a professional for possible leaks or malfunctioning parts.
  • Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions when lighting a pilot.
  • If you smell a strong gas odor, leave the area immediately and call the fire department from outside the home.