Exploding Gas Cans

Gas Can 1

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. Gas can explosions can cause severe burn injury.

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

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 gas can explosions, which often carry five gallons of gasoline and are left in garages and homes, within easy reach of children.

Gas can 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.

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 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. Gas can explosions associated with pouring gas on trash fires, for example, could be avoided if a flame arrestor was included in the 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, retailers 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 and retailers refused to take the proper action to protect the purchasers of their products.

Young children often attempt to imitate their parents, and most cases involving severe gas burns to 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 gas can, call Jonah Flynn, a burn lawyer who handles burn injury lawsuits across the country.


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