two petrol jerry cans - by alex borland, public domain pictures licence

A man was badly burned while using petrol in his garden in Tarporley, say Cheshire fire crews.

The incident has led to warnings to residents about the dangers of using petrol in the garden environment.

There have bee three separate incidents where people have suffered flash burns while using petrol in their gardens.

The latest one in Tarporley left the victim with serious burns after vapours given off by petrol that he had poured onto garden waste ignited.

He suffered second degree burns to his hand and lower arm.

Tony Dwyer, Group Manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said “Although we haven’t had the best summer so far, during the hot weather that we have seen we have had three separate incidents where people have sustained serious burns while using petrol in the garden environment.

“Many gardeners use petrol on a regular basis, whether it’s refilling petrol lawnmowers or chainsaws, but many people often forget how dangerous it can be.

“Petrol is a highly flammable liquid which can give off flammable vapour, even at very low temperatures.

“This means there is always a risk of fire or explosion if a source of ignition.

“It’s also important to note that flammable vapours may even be present in empty tanks and petrol cans. In addition, petrol vapour can be harmful if inhaled.”

Steps you can take to reduce the risk of fires and explosions include:

Never use petrol to help ignite garden fires.
Never smoke while refuelling
Lawn mowers and garden tools should always be switched off when refuelling
Always use the pouring spout and ensure they are inserted correctly.
Never refuel near to fires or barbecues
Avoid refuelling during hot weather – whenever possible fill appliances at the start of the day while the weather is cooler
Always wear protective gloves when refuelling
Never allow children to dispense fuel
Ensure that your fuel is stored correctly.
Only use approved jerry cans and petrol tanks.
Always check carefully that there is no danger before you start the refilling

The Health and Safety Executive says you can legally store up to a maximum of 30 litres of petrol which must be kept in a shed or garage located no more than six metres away from your home.

(pic by Alex Borland, public domain images)

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