Flammable Liquids and Gases - Town of Ajax

Flammable Liquids and Gases

Always use certified or approved containers for storing flammable liquids and gases. 

See below for specific safety tips on using gasoline, propane and kerosene.  It takes a very small amount of flammable liquid or gas to cause a potential fire or explosion and you may not even be able to see or smell anything.  

Always treat these materials with great care.

Gasoline Safety Tips:

Vapour from gasoline can catch on fire or explode very easily.

  • Store in small quantities (less than one gallon) in approved containers. These containers have a label from Canadian Standard Association (CSA) or Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC).
  • Never store gasoline in glass or plastic containers, or in a metal can with any plastic parts.
  • Don't store gasoline in your home. Even at normal temperatures it can be dangerous.
  • Never carry gasoline in the trunk of your automobile. When heat builds up in the trunk, gas vapours can expand and could easily cause a fire.  A rear-end collision or any kind of accident could puncture the gas container and cause a fire.
  • Always fill lawnmowers, snow blowers, etc., in a well ventilated area outside your home. Move at least ten feet away from the fueling spot (away from vapours) and then start the motor, cool the engine before refueling.  Avoid spills. If you do spill, wiped it up right away.
  • Don't smoke when you use gasoline or other flammable liquids and never use gasoline, naphtha or other flammable liquids for cleaning purposes.
  • If you use a flammable liquid, be sure to have a fire extinguisher for "B" type fires nearby.
  • Even if you have an extinguisher, it may not be safe to use it. Do not fight the fire if it is spreading beyond the spot where it started, if it could block your exit, or if you aren't sure how your extinguisher works.  Do not try to use water to put out a gasoline fire.  If there is any danger, do not use the extinguisher: get everyone away from the fire and call 9-1-1.
  • If you use gasoline around the house, keep it out of the reach of children at all times...even if you have to lock it up.  If your child ever swallows gasoline,
    call a Poison Centre or a doctor right away.
  • Never siphon a flammable liquid by mouth. If it must be siphoned, use a hand


For recreational use, propane is generally sold and stored in a cylinder which, when properly filled, is about 75 per cent full.  The space above the liquid to the top of the cylinder contains propane vapour.  This space is important because the propane liquid changes in volume as the temperature rises and falls. 

Propane Safety Tips:                                           

  • Propane cylinders must be re-qualified for continued service every ten years. A propane dispenser will not fill a cylinder that is overdue for qualification.
  • The cylinder must have a regulator with a vent opening that points downwards, so moisture can't build up inside it. If this isn't possible, cover the regulator to keep rain out.
  • Make sure cylinders are safe from tipping over when in use or when transporting - they should always be upright. Never transport a cylinder lying on its side.
  • Never transport a cylinder in a closed trunk, or within a small, closed vehicle. In a car, keep a window open in case there is a leak.
  • Never store a cylinder for a season inside a vehicle or any building, including a garage.
  • Use soapy water to test valves and connections for leaks. Bubbles indicate a leak - fix this immediately! Check your tank for leaks periodically, even if you don't smell anything (propane is described as smelling like rotten cabbage). If you do detect such an odour, don't light a match or turn an electrical switch on or off. Turn off each cylinder valve, ventilate the area well and search out the source of the leak.

For more information, contact the Chief Fire Prevention Officer by E-mail or by phone at 905-683-3050, Option 2, or visit the Technical Standards & Safety Authority website by clicking here for more information.