Preventing Gas Can Burn Injuries

In recent months, red plastic gas cans have received a slew of media and consumer attention. Blitz USA, the main manufacturer of these cans, faces several lawsuits from gas can explosion victims and their families. Victims allege that Blitz and its retail partners were aware of the dangers of these products. Experts claim that a simple addition called a flame arrester could potentially reduce the risk of explosion and injuries. However, neither Blitz nor its partners have appeared to make an effort to improve the safety of these gas cans. Consumers who use these cans and similar plastic gas cans are urged to practice safety precautions to prevent gas can burn injuries and death.

Commercial Grade Gas Cans

In light of reported injuries, experts recommend that consumers dispose of red plastic gas cans and discontinue their use. These gas cans should be replaced by professional or commercial grade gas cans. Metal gas cans are advised. For optimal safety, consumers should purchase new gas cans that have been approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Underwriters Laboratories is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to product safety testing and certification. Additionally, new cans should feature a spring-loaded cap and flame arrester. These gas cans can be purchased online or at traditional hardware stores.

Gasoline-related Injury Statistics

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 4,000 deaths each year are caused by gasoline-related fires and burns. Roughly 600,000 individuals receive emergency medical attention for gasoline-related fire and burn injuries. Of these, roughly 25,000 require admission into specialized burn centers. Property damage from gasoline-related fires costs roughly $450 million each year.

Gas Can Safety Tips

When using gas cans, consumers should always practice gas can safety precautions. Gas cans should never be left in a car trunk. In the summer heat, the vapors inside the gas can will expand. The resulting increase in pressure may allow these heated vapors to escape. An explosion may occur if an ignition source comes in contact with the vapors.

Using Gasoline Safely

Gasoline should only be used to power engines that require gasoline for fuel. Gasoline should not be used to light or fuel open fires, such as camp fires. A number of reported gas can explosions have occurred when individuals attempt to pour gasoline onto a fire. Additionally, gasoline should not be used as a weed killer, cleaning product, or substitution for kerosene.

Gasoline and Children

Parents and families should exercise special gasoline safety precautions when children are present. Adults hold extra responsibility in protecting children who are too young to understand the dangers associated with gasoline and gas cans. As a general rule, adults should ensure that children never have direct access to gasoline or gas cans.