THE NATIONAL GASOLINE SAFETY PROJECT
Injuries that involve gasoline are not directly tracked, but incidents reported to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System indicate an estimated 1,500 children a year suffer gasoline-related burn injuries, which can have severe and life-long consequences.
Although many communities across the country have strong fire safety programs, currently there are few coordinated efforts to encourage safe gasoline handling practices.
In 2008, the National Gasoline Safety Project (NGSP) began researching this issue. Research included a nationwide survey of parents that found:
- Parents are well aware of the dangers of gasoline and most parents (80%) do not use gas to start fires. But parents who use gas to start fires are far more likely to mistakenly think this is something “everybody” does – that is, they think it’s normal when it is not.
- Parents who use gas to start fires usually do so to light a barbecue grill, burn trash or brush, or start a campfire or bonfire. These are situations where children may be nearby.
- Parents who use gas to start fires are twice as likely to have learned this behavior from their own parents – and now are modeling this behavior to their children.
- Most parents say it’s easy to start a fire properly, without gas. Parents who use gas are twice as likely to say it’s difficult to start a fire without it.
Guided by this research, the National Gasoline Safety Project is reaching out to safety advocates who can connect with parents at a grassroots level. After all, parents buy gas, choose whether and how to store it at home, and teach their children – through what they say and what they do – how to behave around gasoline. By reaching advocates, we can reach parents; and by reaching parents, together we can put an end to gas fires and needless gas burn injuries suffered by children.
Shriners Hospital for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Every year, Shriners Hospitals for Children provides care for thousands of kids with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, in a family-centered environment with no financial obligation to patients or families. For more information, visit ShrinersHospitals.org.
Safe Kids USA
Safe Kids USA is a nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids USA educates families, provides safety devices to families in need, and advocates for better laws to help keep children safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. For more information, visit SafeKids.org.
The Portable Fuel Container Manufactures Association
The Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association is a nonprofit trade association representing the makers of portable fuel containers and spouts. PFCMA works with governmental and private entities on matters concerning safety, quality and environmental standards as well as education about portable fuel containers. For more information, visit PFCMA.com.