West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is issuing advice on the use and storage of petrol in homes and gardens after a shed was destroyed by a petrol vapour explosion.
The explosion, which happened in the area of West Yorkshire, was captured on dramatic CCTV footage.
The large garden shed was completely destroyed when a small amount of petrol, stored in appropriate containers and garden machinery, leaked.
It is believed that the petrol vapours were ignited by a faulty fluorescent light fitting causing the explosion. The remaining fuel was ignited causing a rapid developing fire that quickly engulfed the remains of the shed.
Due to the extent of fire damage Fire Investigation teams were unable to establish how the leak occurred.
Fire Investigation Officer Jamie Lister said: “In light of what could have been a potentially devastating incident, WYFRS would like to reiterate the safety considerations around storage and use of petrol in homes and gardens.
“Petrol produces a vapour which is extremely flammable and must be treated with utmost care. To create a potentially explosive atmosphere there only needs to be a small amount of petrol vapour present, as little as 1.4%.”
Here are some sensible precautions to keep you safe when storing/using petrol in and around the home and garden:
- Do use only approved, labelled containers with correctly fitting lids
- Do store in a well ventilated area
- Do only store the minimum amount you need
- Do use a funnel/spout when decanting/refuelling and only do this outside
- Do keep containers secure to protect against inappropriate use
- Do replace any damaged or leaking containers/equipment
- Don’t store petrol/petrol operated equipment in living accommodation
- Don’t smoke or use naked flames when handling petrol/petrol operated equipment
- Don’t overfill containers to avoid any spillages
- Don’t fill containers to the brim, fuels expand and vapour can build up in hot weather
- Don’t store containers in direct sunlight
- Don’t use petrol to light bonfires as this can potentially cause a petrol vapour explosion.
ALSO If you have petrol powered equipment make sure they are stored in an upright position. If they are fitted with a fuel tap on the underside of the fuel tank then make sure this is in the off position to prevent leaks from perished fuel lines.