A gasoline shortage like the one the East Coast is enduring right now, can lead to panic, and panic often leads to terrible ideas; like stockpiling gasoline in plastic bags, which the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission kindly reminded us all not to do Wednesday on Twitter.
Now, anyone who’s happened across the USCPSC’s Twitter account over the last year and change knows that the department is always up for a good educational meme. But it wasted no time with humor in delivering this message, touching off a thread that included a very illustrative video of the “jetting” that can occur when gasoline is poured near an open flame.
“We know this sounds simple, but when people get desperate they stop thinking clearly,” the USCPSC’s final tweet in the thread reads. “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.”
Point well taken, though this message appears to have been prompted by a video of a woman pumping gasoline into a plastic bag from 2019 that’s recirculated this week on social media. She filled a bag with gas, then noticed it leaking, at which point she double bagged the gas and struggled to lift it into the back of her Honda Accord. Apparently she was warned by multiple people not to do this, but went ahead and did so anyway.
And look — this isn’t about pointing and laughing at someone who didn’t know any better. Our David Tracy does know better and still offered this brief yet cautionary tale in our Slack. Nobody is immune to bad decisions involving gasoline.
Rather than a plastic bag (or Solo cups for that matter), maybe go get yourself a DOT-approved canister designed to carry flammable liquids, that won’t dissolve or let vapors escape. Follow the instructions on the label too while you’re at it.
Also, please don’t panic buy gasoline in general, which only exacerbates the shortage and takes it away from your fellow motorists that need it just as badly as you do. Yes, some states have declared emergencies, but the Colonial Pipeline is expected to return to service by the end of the week, and the gas will ultimately flow again.