Experts warn about transporting gas in portable containers

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Richmond, Va. (WRIC) — With more than half of Virginia gas stations out of fuel Wednesday evening, according to GasBuddy, drivers may need to use other grades of gas, or even fill up a portable container, to refuel their vehicles.

AAA Mid-Atlantic is reminding Virginians how to avoid dangerous situations when it comes to gasoline.

If you need to fill a portable container, Martha Meade with AAA said as a general rule, you should not drive around with that gas can in your vehicle.

“Gasoline is an explosive substance. Obviously, it can burn, it fires and burns to run our car so it’s not something we want in the event of a crash, that could be extraordinarily dangerous,” she told 8News.

However, she said if you do have to transport gasoline, even if it is a short distance, make sure it is in a container that is approved for the transport of fuel. Also, never leave the container in a hot car.

Henrico Fire posted on Facebook Wednesday, reminding drivers that portable containers should have a tight closing lid and should be secured to prevent tipping and sliding while driving.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sent out a warning on Twitter, advising drivers not to fill plastic bags with gasoline. The commission added that it sounds simple, but when people get desperate, they can stop thinking clearly.

“As much as we preach not to panic buy, it seems human nature that people are going to do that,” Meade added.

She also said that if you cannot find your usual grade of gas among the outages, it is generally safe to fill up or top off with another.

“You can mix premium and regular gas in your car, unless your car requires premium gas to operate,” Meade said.

Also, never fill a gas vehicle with diesel.

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