Our company sells a product that requires a gas to operate. Most people are familiar with propane (the gas for your grill), but not Acetylene. Acetylene is a gas that burns hotter than propane and is a bit more combustible. I was doing research for a blog post and needed to test out the product with Acetylene gas which caused me to buy an Acetylene tank from the local welding supply. When I called the store, I asked if there were any issues with me picking up the gas in my sedan, he assured me it is fine.I drove down and paid for the tank. On the counter they have a picture of a car exploding and giving a warning not to store / travel with tanks in enclosed vehicles. RIGGGGHHHT…. So I get the tank and put it in my car and within 5 seconds of moving forward the tank shifts, the valve moves against the door, and acetylene starts coming out of the tank. I start flipping out thinking that the tank is going to explode and try to get my brain to simultaneously put the car in park and exiting the vehicle to move the tank outside. I eventually do so and get the worker to shut it off. No damage done, but I was pretty freaked out.
I drove back in total horror before reaching my destination safely. I share this story not to make mention of how much of an idiot I was, but to harp on how easy it is to be afraid of the unknown. In my mind, this acetylene tank could blow up if a ray of sunlight hit it. I have no experience with it and it’s easy to get caught up in a worst case scenario type thinking when you are uneducated. More likely than not, acetylene is way safer than I perceive if treated properly. This experience though taught me valuable lessons though that I won’t forget. 1) Secure gas in a vehicle 2) Don’t fuck around with your life 3) Understand what you are getting into before you actually get into it. In this scenario me taking the word of the employee was a bit too nonchalant for my liking.
When you don’t know something, it’s easy to be scared of the results. For me, I feel like I have a good feel of the unknown in the general sense. Not too much can upset me with the future but when I put my life at risk (in my mind), I had to be more cognizant.