U.S. Officials Are Warning About This Danger at Gas Pumps Right Now

If you're doing this at the gas station, you could be putting yourself in serious danger.

With a gas shortage affecting multiple states, U.S. drivers are going to extreme means to ensure that their cars are gassed up and operational. While the fear of sky-high gas prices on the horizon has caused some individuals to start hoarding gas, that's not the only problematic behavior people are guilty of at the pump. One U.S. authority is now warning of a serious safety issue borne out of the gas crisis. Read on to find out if this habit could be putting you in harm's way.

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Authorities are warning against filling alternative containers with gasoline.

person holding plastic bag outside
Shutterstock / daizuoxin

While it may seem obvious to some, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found it necessary to remind consumers that they shouldn't fill any container other than a gas can with gasoline.

After a photo of a trunk full of bags of gasoline went viral, the CPSC issued a statement to the public regarding the practice. "Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline," the product safety authority tweeted on May 12. "Use only containers approved for fuel."

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The CPSC warns that using unapproved can present serious safety risks.

hand filling gas can from pump
Shutterstock / Supachai Katiyasurin

In a follow-up tweet, the CPSC acknowledged that the precarious situation many people currently find themselves in due to the gas shortage has led to desperate measures, but that people should still try to protect their wellbeing above all else.

"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," the CPSC wrote.

The CPSC also cautioned against transferring gas between containers in certain settings.

gas cans in a back yard
Shutterstock / Peter Gudella

It's not just the risk of gasoline spilling in your car you have to worry about if you're transporting gasoline in plastic bags—transferring it to other containers may prove perilous in some situations. The CPSC recommended following the instructions for transport and storage printed on your gasoline can and avoiding potential ignition sources if transferring the gasoline between containers.

"Flame jetting is a sudden and possibly violent flash fire that can occur when pouring flammable liquids from a container over an exposed flame or other ignition source," the product safety authority tweeted. "NEVER pour flammable liquids from a container over an exposed flame."

Two viral posts may have led to confusion about how frequently this problem arises.

trunk full of blue plastic garbage bags
Shutterstock / PT Pictures

While it's good practice to exclusively keep gasoline in either your car's gas tank or a gas can, recent photos and videos purporting to show people hoarding gas in plastic bags or storage totes are not what they seem.

According to Snopes, a widely-circulated photo of a trunk full of gas bags that many have claimed to be recent actually came from a gasoline theft incident in Huauchinango, Mexico in 2019. Similarly, a viral video of a woman filling a plastic storage tote with gasoline at a gas station was also shot in 2019.

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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