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John Baker
John Baker, Electronics Tech
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 282
Experience:  30 Plus years Electronic Tech - 50 + Years Handy Man - 50+ years Gardner - Researcher - Home Owner -
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can gasoline be ignited by a lighted cigarette

Resolved Question:

can gasoline be ignited by a lit cigarette and if so under what conditions?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Fred Smith replied 8 years ago.
Hello

Welcome to Just Answer;

The answer is Yes; For the complete answer please see:
http://intuitor.com/moviephysics/mpmain.html

Search 3/4's of the way down the page for specifics of Cigarettes as Lighters.

Regards,

Duncan
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to fredfredfred's Post: your responder said yes to my question but the artical that he linked me to did not support his answer. I need scientific proof that a cigarette can light gasoline for legal purposes in an up comming court case.
Expert:  Fred Smith replied 8 years ago.
Hello

Apologies that the link given and the text in our answer was contradictory. Also please accept our apologies in that you require a Legal and Scientific grounding in the reply and did not get this, a confusion probably caused by the fact that this was not clear in the original question.
I will contact the site administrators requesting that your question be moved to the Legal category.

Here is some case law from Virginia: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=wv&vol=fall2005%5C32665&invol=1
(search for cigarette, and read that and the following paragraph)

Kind regards,

Duncan
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to fredfredfred's Post: This still does not help. The expert wittness in this case was wrong as I have info from Exxon oil corp. that clearly states that the flash point of gas is -40 deg.f and the autoignition temperature is 482 deg.f . I also know that the outter area of the fire on a cigarette temp is 282 deg.f and the inner area area or center area of the fire on a cigarette can reach as high as 784 deg.f so keep trying guys.
Expert:  John Baker replied 8 years ago.

I can tell you there is no 100% verifiable scientific proof to either prove or disprove that gasoline can be ignited by a lit cigarette.


There are to many variables that can affect the results.


If more detailed information was avaliable on your actual situation, an answer may be possible.


An example on the variables:


A match held above gasoline will ignite the vapor and cause the gasoline to burn.


If a breeze keeps the vapors from accumulating the match will have no effect.


The match put directly into the gasoline will be extingushed by the gasoline.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to XXXXX XXXXX's Post: O.K. here are the details: 3 years ago I was attacked by a neighbor who was drunk and stoned on drugs. Just before he came across my front yard I had poored some gasoline into a 1 lb. coffee can to clean some tools that were very greasy from working on a semi truck that I used to own. This was on a hot June day and the gas had been sitting out in the sun for about 15 or 20 minutes. I did not wish to harm this man because he used to be a friend but because of his continued substance abuse I was forced to ask him not to come around my home any more. The spot where I was prepairing to clean the tools was at the base of a 3 foot high retaining wall in my driveway. As he came towards me I repeatedly told him to get out of my yard and to stay away from me. When he got within 6 or 8 feet of me I threw the can of gas at him hoping to hit him in the face thus alowing me time to get away form him and call the police, I was boxed in. The can of gas hit him in the belly area and he continued to come at me and leaped off the wall on top of me. I had a cigarette in my other hand that I had lit just a few minutes before this all happended when I had gone back into my basement to gather the tools for cleaning. When he jumped off the wall I put my right hand up to block him and realized I still had the cigarette in my right hand. It was smashed into his left shoulder and the sparks "rained" down to his belly area and we both went up in flames. I received third degree burns on my right arm and shoulder and he was burned over 60% of his entire body. He never recovered from this and later died. Now I have been charged with voluntary manslaughter becayse the state fire marshal says that a cigarette will not light gasoline. They say that I had to of had a lighter but my lighter was found in my basement with my cigarettes un-scorched or any other signs of burns on it. It was a bic lighter and in that kind of heat there should hav been some signs of burns or something. Now there was one wittness across the street who heard me tell him to get out of my yard but she is uncertain has to wether or not he was on fire before he jumped off the wall or after. And she never even saw me catch on fire. Now you know the whole story in a nut shell. This is a small town and his mother is the cousin to the county sherrif so you can guess how important this info is to me. If I can locate "verifiable" proof and most likely someone who can come to court to prove my case it will be worth more than $5.00. I don't have a lot of money and the court appointed a public defender but I will do the best I can if I can get the proof and an expert who can testify that the fire marshal is wrong. Go to any gas station and read the sign on the pumps. If this fire marshal is right then everyone in America has been lied to for a very long time. Thankyou
Expert:  John Baker replied 8 years ago.

The fire marshal is correct. A cigarette will not light gasoline.


Throw a lit match in a can of gasoline and the gasoline will put the match out.


Do not hold the match over the can of gasoline since it will ignite the vapor and cause a fire or explosion.


A cigarette can and will ignite the vapor, if the conditions are wright.


"When the cigarette was was smashed into his left shoulder and the sparks "rained" down to his belly area" this is all it would talk to ignite the gasoline fumes. When the sparks "rained" down they hot hotter due to the extra air they were exposed to. This was all that was needed to ignite the gasoline vapor and start the fire.


Any time air is supplied to a smoldering object, it will get hotter and burst into flame.


Example: Watch a Blacksmith, watch what happens to his coals when extra air is applied to the coals. Extra heat and fire.


Information on gasoline vapor below.


http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_FatalFacts/f-facts03.html


http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_FatalFacts/f-facts53.html


http://www.av8n.com/physics/vapor.htm


http://www.chevron.com/products/PRODSERV/fuels/bulletin/gasoline_safety.shtml


http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia97/os/os5b.pdf


http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/flammable/flam.html


http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:uM31Mp339QgJ:www.burnsurgery.com/Documents/gasoline_safety.doc+gasoline+vapor+danger&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=12&ie=UTF-8


Injury caused by gasoline fires below.


http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/bulletins/docs/b1993_37.htm


http://www.west.net/~smith/causation.htm


Please read each link completely. Some are rather lengthy but all have information that will be helpful. Many are actual OSHA and other government publications.


If I can be of anymore help just ask.

John Baker, Electronics Tech
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 282
Experience: 30 Plus years Electronic Tech - 50 + Years Handy Man - 50+ years Gardner - Researcher - Home Owner -
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