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Steer clear of transporting a gas bomb in the car

Published:Sunday | August 16, 2020 | 12:00 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Contributor

Carrying gasolene in your motor vehicle is like having a torch waiting to be ignited. It’s almost like a bomb that’s being transported. While drivers of motor vehicles are spared direct contact with the volatile side of gasolene’s personality, one cannot be too careful about its danger. Even in the absence of an open flame or a carelessly handled cigarette, there is danger of fire from flammable mixtures. Safety experts call the three elements needed to create a fire the combustion triangle. Air is usually available in abundance, and ignition can even be provided by static electricity.

Have you ever thought of keeping a few litres of petrol in your car or pickup? Whatever the reason is, forget it. Even when a gasolene tank has been drained and cleaned, the danger of an explosion still remains.

Motorist should refrain from such a practice as it is courting death, disaster, and destruction. “It is a dangerous practice,” one gas station operator advises. “It’s like travelling with a live bomb in a suitcase or bag. Being trapped or burned alive is not the most dignified way to depart this life.”

“Gasolene is dangerous in almost every way because it is very easy to start a fire,” says Andrew Brown, a mechanic with over 25 years of experience in the auto world. “It is flammable, explosive, corrosive, and toxic.” According to Brown, even breathing in the flames is unhealthy.

The fuel tank in your vehicle is designed to cope with the hazards of gasolene. It is made of corrosion-resistant material and properly vented to release excess pressure that could bring the gasolene supply to an explosion flashpoint. Importantly, it is outside the car body, thus ensuring that leaks or fires are directed away from the passengers inside the car. It is suspended on hangers to absorb shocks and prevent any rupturing of the tank in a collision. L.G. Brown, former head of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA), once said. “The practice of carrying around an extra supply of gasolene in your motor vehicle is not safe.”

Take note of the following:

1. Fuel tank: It stores gasolene on board the vehicle under its neck by the engine.

2. Fuel line: A metal tube or flexible hose which transfer fuel for the tank to the engine fuel injection system.

3. Electronic control module: Controls the fuel mixture, ignition timing, and emission system.

4. Battery: Provides electricity to start the engine and power the vehicle.

5. Fuel injection system: Introduces fuel into the engine’s combustion.

6. Fuel pump: Transfers fuel from the tank to the engine’s fuel-injection system via the fuel line.

7. Fuel filler: A nozzle from a high-pressure hydrogen dispenser attached to the receptacle on the vehicle to fill the tank.


So the next time you drive into a gas station, observe signs and act according to the various safety regulations.

1. No naked flames.

2. Do not use the phone while at the pump.

3. Turn off the engine of your motor vehicle while being served fuel.