Safety First: Ensuring Safe Use of Fuel Containers and Liquid Fuels
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of injuries associated with liquid fuels, prompting national authorities to advocate for stronger safety measures. This year, during the National Fire Prevention Week, spanning October 8th through the 14th, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stepped forward to raise awareness about the potential hazards stemming from fuel containers, liquid fuels, and their accompanying vapors.
Established by Congress in 1973, the CPSC is a federal agency, independent in its functioning, whose primary responsibility is the safety of the American populace. Tasked with shielding citizens from undue risks that can result in grave injury or death, the CPSC oversees a wide array of consumer products—more than 15,000 types to be precise. Those wishing to report unsafe products or related injuries can reach out to the CPSC via their hotline at 1-800-638-2772. Additionally, their official websites, saferproducts.gov and cpsc.gov, offer valuable information on recalls and other safety concerns.
A disconcerting number of individuals find themselves in emergency rooms due to injuries stemming from liquid fuels. Activities as innocuous as lighting a bonfire, engaging in fall camping, or simply riding an all-terrain vehicle can become hazardous if proper safety measures are not taken. A particularly alarming phenomenon is “flame jetting”— a violent flash fire that results when liquid fuels such as gasoline, kerosene, or butane come into contact with an open flame. Compounding the danger, even vapors from these fuels, invisible to the naked eye, can lead to explosions if they come into contact with an ignition source.
To combat these risks, the CPSC offers the following guidelines:
- Avoid Combining Fire and Fuel: Gasoline should never be used in conjunction with fires or fire pits. It’s imperative to use designated fire starters and to avoid adding liquid fuel to already ignited fires.
- Water Accessibility: The unpredictable nature of fires necessitates having water sources like hoses or fire extinguishers within arm’s reach. Prior to kindling a fire, checking wildfire risks and wind conditions is recommended.
- Safe Storage Practices: Fuel containers, indispensable for numerous equipment types, can be a hazard if stored improperly. Storing them away from potential spark sources in cool and airy locations is crucial.
- Caution during Transportation: Liquid fuel should only be housed in specially crafted, child-proof containers. When refueling, always set the container on the ground, ensuring it’s sealed and upright during transport.
- Opt for Flame Arrestors: Investing in fuel containers fitted with flame arrestors—devices that block ignited fuel vapors—can prevent catastrophic accidents. As of July 12, 2023, the CPSC mandates that such safety devices be present in gas cans and similar containers.
- Stay Educated and Vigilant: Flammable liquids are omnipresent, from household items to garage equipment. It’s vital to recognize their potential risks and practice caution.
The CPSC encourages not only adults but also children to be educated about fire safety. With due diligence and the right safety education, it’s possible to avoid accidents and ensure a safer environment for all. For more information about these safety precautions, resources are available at CPSC’s Fuel Container and Liquid Fuel Safety Education Center.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by negligence. For your free consultation, contact our national product liability law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation