If you have a yard and mow your own lawn, chances are you own a plastic gasoline can. Most people think of these red, plastic gas cans as cheap and effective for storing and dispensing gas. But what most people don't know is that these gas cans, under certain usage situations, can literally transform into exploding bombs. Thousands of children and adults have been severely burned or killed by exploding plastic gasoline cans.
The Missing Flame Arrestor
Another thing most people don't know is that plastic gasoline can manufacturers have known how to prevent these explosions for decades with the addition of a simple and inexpensive "flame arrestor." A flame arrestor is nothing more than a thin wire mesh located in the gas can spout. The mesh allows the gas to come out, but keeps flames from igniting gasoline vapors inside the gas can and causing the can to explode. Typically, gas can explosions occur when gasoline vapor from the can is exposed to a nearby open flame and the vapor carries the flame back into the can causing a violent explosion which engulfs the user and bystanders in a fireball.
Gas Can Manufacturers
The larger plastic gasoline can manufacturers like Blitz USA, Inc., Midwest Can, Scepter Manufacturing and the Plastics Group, knew or should have known about the gas can explosion danger and further, how to protect the gas can users. Professional grade gas cans have been equipped with flame arrestors and spring-activated caps, which close automatically and ensure that vapors don't escape, or oxygen doesn't migrate into the can to mix with the vapors.
In January 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) required all plastic gasoline cans to come equipped with a child resistant safety cap. However, there are tens of thousands of plastic gasoline cans still in use which are defective and unsafe, especially for children. Martin & Jones has successfully represented children who have been severely burned by exploding plastic gasoline cans. If you or a loved one has been injured by an exploding plastic gasoline can, call the injury lawyers at Martin & Jones today for a free no obligation consultation.
What parents and especially children do not understand, is how easily gasoline vapors can ignite. A nearby open flame, a natural gas pilot light, and even static electricity can ignite gasoline vapor and cause a gas can to explode. Young children have been known to play with matches. When this is done in the vicinity of a gas can, it can lead to disaster.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury, please review this list of medical facilities specializing in burn care.