Consumer safety agency offers gas storage tips as shortages expand: ‘Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline’

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Wednesday advised consumers to not “fill plastic bags with gasoline” as fuel shortages and long lines brought on by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown spread in the Southeast.

“Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline,” the agency tweeted in a lengthy thread. “Use only containers approved for fuel.”

“Follow the gas canister manufacturer instructions for storing and transporting gasoline,” CPSC continued. “When using a gas canister, never pour gasoline over or near an open flame.”

“We know this sounds simple, but when people get desperate they stop thinking clearly. They take risks that can have deadly consequences. If you know someone who is thinking about bringing a container not meant for fuel to get gas, please let them know it’s dangerous,” CPSC said

The thread quickly went viral, with tens of thousands of likes and retweets.

Gas stations across much of the Southeast have run out of gas as the Colonial Pipeline remains inoperative for a sixth day following a ransomware cyberattack that encrypted the company’s data.

Nearly 25 percent of gas stations in North Carolina, 15 percent of gas stations in Georgia and Virginia, and 13 percent of gas stations in South Carolina were out of fuel as of Wednesday. On Wednesday, the average price per gallon of gasoline in the U.S. rose above $3 for the first time since 2014.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Tuesday that Colonial Pipeline is expected to make a decision regarding a “full restart” by the end of Wednesday, though even after the company makes a decision, it will take several more days for operations to begin.

“This pipeline has never been shut down before … it will take a few days to be up and running, but our interagency operation is going to be on it all the way,” Granholm said. 

Tags Canister CPSC Fuel container Gasoline Jennifer Granholm U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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