Fire Tips: Be Careful Storing Gas Cans and Disposing of Ash

The Rye Brook fire prevention officer provides fire safety tips.

The Rye Brook Fire Department has been receiving many calls and noticing safety hazards around town. The biggest problem they are seeing is unsafe storage of gas cans, said Bill Irwin, a Rye Brook firefighter who handles fire prevention.

“One gallon of gas can explode with the force of 16 sticks of dynamite,” Irwin said. Gas cans should be stored outside or in vented sheds and tightly capped. Storing gas in an apartment or multi family home is prohibited.

“People have one gallon, or five gallon or we even found up to 25 gallons of gas in a home,” Irwin said.

The Rye Brook fire department responded to one call on Ridge Street of an odor of gas in a structure and discovered two five gallon gas cans with rags as a cap, a highly explosive danger, Irwin said. Vapors are heavier than air, they lay on the floor and can then ignite.

“People need to be made more aware,” he said.

Also, do not store gas cans in your car. If you smoke, the vapors can ignite.

Irwin also asked Patch to alert residents to fireplace safety tips.

When using fireplaces, use metal can to remove ash, soak in water and put outside and away from house. Do not use cardboard, paper or plastic containers. Do not vacuum with household vacuums.

Also, make sure the flue is open before you start the fire, keep a covering over the fire and do not have anything within three feet of the fireplace.

Fortunately, the fire department has not had any large fires in the last week, but firefighters are noticing safety hazards and are concerned if people are not more careful there can be a horrible accident. 


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