As if gas cans didn’t work poorly enough already

Can an “easy fix” curb dangers of containers holding flammable fuel?
A proposed bill in Congress aims to cut the number of Americans burned in so-called “flame jetting” incidents, when a container holding flammable fuel can become something akin to a flamethrower. The injuries can be devastating.

This happens with flammable liquids, like the gasoline you use for your lawn mower, fireplace fuels, liquor and even nail polish remover. Advocates say all of those could put you at risk and are missing what they say is a needed safety measure, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.

Aubrey Clark was 17 when a 2011 gasoline accident changed her life and lost her her voice. She was at a friend’s house for her birthday party with a few friends when one friend got near an outdoor fire with a gasoline can. Clark was some 10 feet away but said flames shot out of the can.

I’ve got an easy fix for that: Don’t put gas cans near fires.

This article doesn’t have any statistics on how often this happens, but I wonder… Care to bet whether this started peaking after 2009, when the idiot feds mandated vapor recovery/anti-spill gas cans? The ones that don’t work (and which sparked a retrofit industry)? See, a decent gas can had a vent and plain nozzle; if vaopr pressure built up — say, from heat — the vapors would simply escape. And expanding vapors cool, minimizing the chance that they’d ignite. If it did ignite, pressure would be too low for much of a jet.

These new “improved” cans won’t let vapors easily vent off. So pressure builds. And builds. And get hotter. Until the vapor reaches ignition point and shoots out.

Thanks, EPA. And rather than admit they fucked up, they’re going to add yet another gadget to cans to further restrict flow. And very likely restrict venting even more, so that cans will simply exploded.

Oh, that’ll be much better.

2 thoughts on “As if gas cans didn’t work poorly enough already

  1. Bruce Edwards April 4, 2017 / 10:47 am

    No wonder real jerry cans are so expensive I can’t afford them.


  2. TRX April 6, 2017 / 2:24 am

    Not only is a $10 gas can now $25, I had to buy a $15 flex-nozzle kit to replace the rigid safety nozzle, because otherwise I can’t get to the fuel filler.

    Reminds me of the first OSHA-spec bench grinder enclosures I encountered. A 1/2″ slot we were supposed to feed a 5/8″ lathe bit through…


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