Yesterday morning a Hummer H2 erupted on fire in Homosassa, Florida. The Citrus County Fire Rescue determined very quickly that the cause was from multiple gas cans in the back, filled with gasoline. The driver had only just pulled out of the gas station when the fire began. This is just one example of why it is a very bad idea to hoard gasoline.
Now that the Colonial Pipeline is back up and running we should start seeing panic gasoline buying ease. There was no reason to be hoarding gas the past few days anyway. But it still needs to be repeated why it is never a good idea to hoard lots of gasoline. Ever.
Folks are using plastic bags and storage boxes as gas cans
As you’ll see in the accompanying images folks are using asinine containers like plastic bags and storage boxes to hold gas. As if we need to say these are not recommended containers according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. But even with the right containers storing gasoline in any quantity is a bad idea.
Gas is corrosive, so approved gasoline containers go through a litany of tests before the EPA approves them. It even increased the rules surrounding gasoline containers in 2009. It was expected that consumers understood that using anything other than an approved gas can was a bad idea.
Plastic bags or two-liter soda bottles run the risk of being eaten by gas
Anything like a plastic bag or two-liter soda bottles runs the risk of being eaten by the gas. We can’t believe we even need to write that, but here you go. And once the container starts leaking gas an entirely new level of danger happens.
The other thing to remember is that modern gasoline formulas don’t retain their pop for long. Supposedly, in a tightly sealed approved container, it should last six months at the most. But we’ve had gas in a one-gallon can for the lawnmower to go flat in under two months. Modern gasoline is sort of crap.
Gasoline starts to oxidize losing its combustibility after a few months
Left sitting the gasoline starts to oxidize losing its combustibility. So filling up containers with 200 gallons of gas isn’t going to last for long. Then you’re stuck with flat gas you need to dispose of, and that creates another level of danger and hassle.
Now, with your six-month-old crappy gas, you need to get rid of it. But how, and where? A local recycling or toxic waste disposal facility should have a local drop-off. For us in South Orange County, it is located at the county landfill. It is also called the county dump.
Recycling facilities have a limit on how much material you can drop off
Call first in case there are any special instructions for how it needs to be brought in. Some facilities have certain days you can bring in toxic materials. And they usually have a limit on how much you can drop off at any one time. If that is the case you may be hauling containers of bad gas to the recycler every Monday for a few weeks. Still more hassle on top of hassle.
Also, hoarding gasoline is not being a kind neighbor
All of this good content is provided with a caveat. Hoarding gasoline or things like toilet paper (remember last March?) is not being a kind neighbor. Especially, when an incident like the pipeline shutdown was advertised as not being down for very long.
And don’t forget, this was never about a shortage of gas. It was an interruption in the delivery of gasoline. Some states like North Carolina, have felt the pinch more than other states. But in the last few days, gas hoarders look like fools given the circumstances.