EXPLAINING ONE CAUSE OF GASOLINE FIRES
Denver, Colo.—There has been many gasoline fires reported in various newspapers, the report stating that the “cause” was unknown. Nobody was smoking, nor was there any flame nearby.
Some of these explosions happen when an electrical current is turned off. The “cause” is easy to decide, but no so easy to eliminate insofar as future fires are concerned, unless gasoline is kept not less than 15, or better said, 25 feet away from electrical switches.
It is a well known electrical law that when the circuit is broken there is a spark at the point of break, d he reasons for the spark are explained by the existence of self, or mutual induction being present in practically every electrical circuit.
Now, gasoline vapor impregnates the air for many feet distant, and of course if the air ladened with gasoline hovers about an electrical switch and the switch is “opened,” a spark results and naturally the mixture of air and gasoline is exploded.
You have evidence, daily, of the power produced by a mixture of air and gasoline, in your automobiles, a mere spark in your ignition system causing the explosions which run your engine.
Surely it does not require a scientific dissertation gone into a great length to convince you that the gasoline vapor within your workshop, or home is similar to that within the chamber of a gasoline engine, hence it is that we should keep gasoline away from these electrical switches. Quite true, experts have been and are working upon safety switches, but regardless few are “fool-proof” against the penetrative power of air; therefore distance alone is the safest factor, and I say this not to depreciate the good qualiveations of the improved switches, but to try and forestall fires due to gasoline explosions, and save lives.. Experiments have been made showing at what distance it is safe to allow a flame where gasoline is evaporating, and a Safety I able should be compiled and distributed gratuitously and insistence made that the table requirements be strictly adhered to, or no insurance be carried on such buildings, nor should accident, or life insurance concerns carry a policy for a man that deliberately scoffs at the rules of Safety First.