What You Need to Know About Flammable Liquids

MIAMI, OKLA. – Many people may be surprised to learn they keep flammable liquids in their homes — oftentimes in their bathrooms, laundry rooms and garages. Understanding flammable materials is the first step to handling them safely in and around the home.


“Nailpolish remover, rubbing alcohol, linseed oil and aerosol cans all contain highly flammable materials,” says Dan Marshall, vice president of marketing and business development with Scepter™. “Oftentimes we just think about gasoline, paint thinners and lighter fluids as being flammable — and they are.  However, there are flammable liquids throughout the entire home.”

Understanding Flammable Liquids
Flammable liquids are generally considered fluids that can easily ignite at or below room temperature. Whether exposed to an open flame, static electricity or even the spark from a barbeque, these fluids have a flash point.

Put simply, the lower the flash point, the more volatile a flammable liquid is. This is the lowest temperature at which vapors will ignite when met with an ignition source.

“A flammable substance catches fire immediately when exposed to a major heat source, like an open flame,” says Marshall. “But, it can also be a burning cigarette carelessly left near paint thinner that starts a combustion. That’s why it’s so important to contain flammable fluids safely in the home, garage, work shed and other places.”

Storing for Safety
Safely storing flammable liquids in the home environment should be a top priority for all homeowners, especially those with children in the household. Hand sanitizers, non-dairy creamers, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, linseed oil and other normal household items should always be safely stored out of reach of children. These items should never be used near an ignition source, such as a candle flame, fireplace or cigarette lighters.

Additionally, lighter fluids, paint thinners, turpentine and stored gasoline should also be safely kept away from children and potential ignition sources.

“It’s not enough to keep these items away from a direct flame source,” says Marshall. “When using these items people also need to take into consideration their proper and intended uses, plus potential fume problems. Planning for adequate ventilation when using these products is critical.

“Here’s an important example. Gasoline is not a lighter fluid meant to generate heat, but a fluid where it has fumes that can generate dangerous explosive power. Great inside a contained engine, but gasoline and gasoline fumes can be potentially deadly outside a motor when exposed to any ignition source as described earlier or even filling a hot or running mower.”

Marshall illustrates this importance by pointing to the innovative spout design of Scepter® SmartControl fuel containers. The user-controlled flow valve, with its Flame Mitigation Device (FMD), makes it easier and safer to direct the amount of fuel being dispensed. The spout provides a clean, fast, and hassle-free pour and helps save fuel for where it’s needed by eliminating messy, potentially dangerous spills.

7 Safety Tips
There are many ways flammable liquids can be used safely around the home. Whether fueling up a lawn mower or using lighter fluid to ignite a barbeque, it’s important to follow these safety tips:

Tip #1 – Never use gasoline or diesel to start fires. (See an important video on fire tips)

Tip #2 – Only store gasoline in specially-designed fuel containers that have child safety locks.

Tip #3 – Never allow children to pour or use flammable liquids, especially not near open flames.

Tip #4 – Use only fuel storage containers that are ventilated to prevent fume build-up.

Tip #5 – When using or transporting flammable liquids, use extreme caution and do so in spaces with adequate ventilation.

Tip #6 – When not in use, store any containers with a flammable material in a secure, dry location away from heat sources, pets and easy access by children.

Tip #7 – Should a flammable liquid spill in or outside the home, there can be a vapor or fire hazard. Immediately contact your fire department or local authorities for full cleaning instructions and restrict access to the spill area from children and pets.

A video showcasing proper filling and use of Scepter fuel containers is available on the company’s website.

Rugged SmartControl containers are Made in America and designed to substantially exceed ASTM and CPSC minimum standards. Each product includes child safety locks and a flame mitigation device for added protection.

Recognized by This Old House magazine as a “Top 20 Best New Product of 2019” in the Lawn & Garden category, SmartControl containers are also the recipient of the “Best in Class” Award at the 2018 National Hardware Show. Constructed in the U.S.A. of durable and safe high-density polyethylene, SmartControl containers can be found throughout the U.S. in The Home Depot®, Walmart®, Lowe’s®, AutoZone®, Pep Boys and Northern® Tool + Equipment stores. Visit www.scepter.com for more information.

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