Exploding Gas Cans

Defects in manufacturing and design common in many portable gasoline containers, including Blitz gas cans, can result in severe burn injuries and burns to adults and children. Blitz USA, Inc., is one of the largest manufacturers of portable gas cans in the U.S. Blitz gas can explosions can cause severe burn injury, and are caused by the defective nature of the Blitz Gas Cans.

Safer alternative designs and proper warnings can prevent many devastating burns and injuries from spills or can explosions.

With gas prices fluctuating in recent years, more and more people are stock piling fuel in gas cans. They load the cans in their cars and a car crash can become a huge explosive disaster.

Even without getting into an accident the dangers are everywhere. If you fill the gas can while holding it off the ground the static electricity can cause an explosion. Sliding it across a truck bed liner can cause an explosion. Even a small spark from your trunk latch could ignite the gas can.

Devastating third degree burn injuries and death are commonly associated with Blitz gas cans, which often carry five gallons of gasoline and are left in garages and homes, within easy reach of children.

Lawsuits have been successfully brought against Blitz USA, the makers of plastic gas cans, as well as against the retailers who have sold these dangerous containers, including Wal-Mart. Despite the litigation, many unsafe gas cans continue to be sold.

Blitz explosion lawsuits allege a failure to warn consumers about the dangers associated with the exploding cans. In many cases, gas can makers mold the purported warnings into the side of the container. The small raised letters in the red plastic are often not noticed by users or are difficult to read.

Blitz gas can explosions could easily be avoided with slight changes to the design of the container as well as with proper warning information made easy to access.

The problems associated with Blitz gas cans include:

  • The lack of a flame arrestor in the spout of the gas can. This simple modification, which typically costs no more than 50 cents to add, consists of a small metal device with holes fitted into the spout of a gas container. The arrestor functions by forcing the flame to travel through a channel that is too narrow to allow the flame to pass through. This would keep the remaining gasoline in the can from igniting and exploding. The “technology” has been around for over 200 years, as it was originally designed to prevent explosions when coal miners carrying lanterns entered a pocket of gas within a mine. They are now used in a number of different products, including certain bottles of Bacardi Rum. Blitz gas can explosions associated with pouring gas on trash fires, for example, could be avoided if a flame arrestor was included in the Blitz can design.
  • The lack of proper warnings on the container itself. A bold, visible warning would only cost a few pennies more than the ones used in some cases now and would prevent numerous tragic accidents.
  • The lack of child-resistant gas caps. For many years, Blitz has sold portable gas containers without child-resistant caps. Even though the cost to replace the original cap with a child-resistant cap is typically no more than a few cents extra, manufacturers still refuse to take the proper action to protect the purchasers of their products.

Although the Poison Prevention Packaging Act has required child safety caps on toxic and flammable substances used in and around the home, manufacturers relied on a loophole in the law since their containers are sold empty.

In July 2008, the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act was passed into law, requiring all gas cans sold on or after January 17, 2009 to be sold with child resistant safety caps. However, hundreds of thousands of gas cans are still in homes throughout the United States with these unsafe and defective caps which over 80% of children under the age of 6 are able to quickly open.

Young children often attempt to imitate their parents, and most cases involving severe gas burns for kids under 6 stem from situations where they removed the cap and attempted to pour gasoline on a toy mower or their bicycle. As a result of the weight of the 5 gallon gasoline containers, the children often end up covered in gas, and they can suffer severe injuries if the vapors ignite.

If you have been burned by an exploding Blitz gas can, even if your injury occurred while pouring gas on a trash fire, call Jonah Flynn, a burn lawyer who handles not only Georgia burn injury lawsuits but also burn lawsuits and Blitz gas can lawsuits across the country.