Firefighting

RESPONDING TO GASOLINE RELEASES

Issue 4 and Volume 154.

BY DAVID F. PETERSON Without a doubt, gasoline is the hazardous material most commonly released in the United States every year. It is the primary fuel for vehicles, and its consumption is high. Spills occur at vehicular collisions, pipeline releases, bulk transport container leaks, and fixed container storage sites. As most of us know, the innate physical hazard of gasoline is flammability and gasoline, as a liquid at ambient temperatures, will evolve flammable vapors as low as 1457F. Therefore, gasoline can burn or combust virtually anywhere in the continental United States at all times of the year. When gasoline does burn, its heat of combustion is enormous! One pound of gasoline will provide approximately 21,000 British thermal units (Btus) when it combusts. Since a gallon of gasoline weighs 6.67 pounds, each gallon provides approximately 140,112 Btus when it completely burns. This is a great deal of energy, and anyone who…

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