The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants portable fuel container makers to begin designing their products with flame arrestors in order to prevent fires and injuries to people. According to the CPSC, flame arrestors are intended to keep flames that are external to the gasoline container from passing into the container. The agency wants manufacturers “to regain the momentum that was lost in years past” by designing their products to include the safety technology. In addition, the CPSC wants voluntary standards organizations to incorporate a flame arrestor system into applicable safety standards for gas cans. The CPSC said:
Respected researchers have proven that flammable mixtures of oxygen and gasoline vapors can exist in gasoline containers, especially when there are small amounts of gas in a large container. And, under certain circumstances, the vapors can ignite and cause a gas can to explode. The results can be deadly or life-altering.
The CPSC said the measure would help protect people from gasoline-related burn injuries. It said that while there have been safety improvements to portable gas cans throughout the years, the flame arrestor technology still needs to be implemented. The CPSC in a statement said:
Manufacturers must comply with the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act, which CPSC implemented in January 2009. To prevent children younger than 5 from accessing, ingesting or spilling gasoline, all portable gas cans must include a child resistant cap. To meet [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] and California carbon emissions rules, gas cans must also be sealed automatically.
Though gas cans don’t have the flame arrestors as a standard feature, the CPSC said it worked with the residential gas water heater industry to incorporate flame arrestor technology into their products and into a safety standard. The commission said:
Residential gas water heaters sold in stores today have built-in flame arrestors that prevent flashback fires, and CPSC believes that this technology also should be included in gasoline containers. Manufacturers, retailers, researchers, safety advocates, and CPSC should continue to work together to address foreseeable risks and solutions that will make gas cans as safe as possible.
The Portable Fuel Container Manufacturers Association says the technology is still under development and isn’t ready to be implemented yet. The association said in a statement:
It would be irresponsible to incorporate flame arrestor technology as we understand it today in either our products or the voluntary standards governing our products before it is proven to be effective and safe. Our industry encourages CPSC to lend their expertise and resources to the search for a workable solution.
The group said the parameters for combustion inside a portable consumer gas can have been found to be extremely limited, but that it will continue to support and participate in the study of flame mitigation devices to determine if a feasible new product design can be developed. I believe that flame arrestors should be required. The industry has had adequate time in which to include this technology into the design and manufacturing of their gas cans.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.