How Manufacturer’s Defects Can Cause Exploding Gas Cans, And What Your Recourse Is When They Do

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Gasoline Can

There is not really a completely safe way to transport gasoline. It’s a highly flammable substance, and when you choose to take it from one place to another, there is always the risk of explosion or it igniting. Portable gas cans are supposed to give the consumer, the safest option to carry gasoline around, but some manufactured gas cans can cause injury.

Many portable gasoline cans have both manufacturing and design defects that can predispose them to explode and put the consumer in danger. Burn injuries are some of the most painful and disfiguring injuries that a person can have. Many life-threatening accidents could be stopped with just a few minor alterations to portable gas can designs, along with simple warning labels to ensure that people use them in the correct way. The warning labels are often enough to get people to use the necessary caution.

If you are injured by an exploding gas can or container, it is important not to assume that you did something wrong. There are times when the manufacturer is at fault for your injuries, and you may be able to recover your damages. The type of lawyer you would want to consult if you are injured in a gas container explosion is a product liability lawyer.

There are specific reasons that portable gas containers explode, and they aren’t always due to operator error. Common reasons are a defect in the manufacturing or design, which can make those who sell portable gas cans liable for injuries.

Defective gas can issues

  • The caps aren’t child-resistant

Because there is no mandate that portable gas cans come with child-resistant openers, they aren’t standard, industry-wide. Also, cans that are older and haven’t been updated could pose an extreme risk for people with small children. Since children aren’t capable of understanding the gravity of what could happen with a gas can, they wouldn’t take the necessary steps to protect themselves or to handle them properly. If a child is injured due to a gas can explosion and there was no child-resistant cap in place, then it is a manufacturer’s design defect, which  makes the manufacturer liable.

  • No spout flame arrestor

A flame arrestor, which only costs the manufacturer about an additional fifty cents, will stop a portable gas can from exploding. The small device works because it forces the gasoline to funnel down an extremely narrow path, which blocks a flame (if ignited) from re-entering the gas can and causing an explosion. Many manufacturers don’t include them simply due to cost.

  • Improper warning on gas cans

Not everyone knows what a portable gas can looks like or how to operate one. If you aren’t using it correctly, you are putting yourself in danger. Also, if you don’t know that the can itself has the potential to explode, you likely won’t protect yourself from the risk of an explosion even by following strict safety precautions. An improper gas label puts not only the owner in danger, but anyone who comes in contact with it.

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If it isn’t labeled properly, then it just becomes a harmless canister to someone who doesn’t know any better. Not many people understand the inherent dangers of gasoline or how quickly it can ignite. Many things should be avoided when using them, and there are things that they should never come into contact with. A proper warning label would limit the potential that an accident can happen.

There are currently many manufacturers who are the subject of a product liability lawsuit. It’s likely that if the victims win, the costs involved will scare other manufacturers into making small product changes to significantly limit the number of people injured in gas can explosions.

If you are going to purchase a portable gas container, it is a good idea to make sure that it has the appropriate safety measures, proper labeling, and that the company  provided you the additional security of a flame arrestor, so that you don’t fall victim to a portable gasoline can explosion. If you are injured, it is imperative to consult a personal injury lawyer to receive fair compensation for your injuries.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.