United States, California, Berkeley - 05/13/2021 — Consumers Beware - spark, static electricity or hot metal can ignite fumes causing flame jetting or bomb-like explosions due to an invisible and flammable vapor trail leading into the container. A Flame Arrestor (FA), like those in gasoline containers manufactured since 2019, “breaks the trail” and prevents a flame from entering the container.
Yesterday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(CPSC), the government agency that regulates products, warned gas hoarders: “Don't put gasoline in plastic bags.” This impulsive twitter warning with over 38k retweets comes as over a thousand service stations across the East Coast have reported gas shortages prompted by the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack which left consumers improvising and using unsafe containers for fuel storage and transport.
In the early 2000s, the CPSC consented to the removal of screens (FA’s) from “consumer-grade” fuel containers. Perhaps this was to reduce the cost of manufacturing or in response to competitive bids from other countries which did not feel compelled to include the safety guard? Since then, thousands of deaths and injuries have occurred with hazardous containers lacking screens that are known to prevent flame jetting.
“Explosions and fire incidents involving portable plastic gasoline containers manufactured for consumer use are known to occur frequently and are verified in databases, engineering literature, legal briefs, and newspapers.” Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention.
HR806, a law requiring manufacturers to place the screen back on containers was passed in December 2020, however, the CPSC has failed to enact a safety regulation or an education campaign, both of which are directly mandated by Congress.
For over seven years, Margrett Lewis, founder of Survivors for Good, has been voluntarily advocating for burn prevention of those injured by faulty containers. She has been pressuring Congress and the CPSC for more stringent ASTM product standards that include fail-proof guards like flame arrestors and a safety education campaign that compels consumers to act. “Now, it’s up to The Commissioners of the CPSC, to safeguard consumers this year,” said Lewis. “The same safety guard that has been required for decades in Commercial, Industrial, and Military usage should absolutely be required for the consumer class of products. The invisible vapors ignite with a bomb-like force. The safety guard (it’s called a flame arrester) has never failed in a fuel container. Flame Arresters, which act as a screen, prevent escaping vapors from igniting and exploding."
“The flame arrestors required by HR806 cost only pennies, saves on injuries, have no effect on use and have been shown to work 100% of the time in preventing fires and explosions,” said Dr. Glen Stevick, Principle of Berkeley Engineering and Research, Inc., where flame arrestors’ (FA) were researched and tested.
“I look forward to transparency on government spending around this issue. Time is literally a ticking bomb during this pandemic,” said Margrett.
There are 4,000 preventable burn injuries that occur from consumer products every year due to containers absent of flame arrestors. Amid this pandemic mixed with consumers' hoarding and gas shortage issues, injuries are predicted to skyrocket. Lewis, Stevick, and other advocates urge CPSC to immediately fund an extensive educational campaign for consumers to Stop, Check and Protect consumer portable fuel containers.
Stop, Check & Protect - Does your container have a safety screen or safety device affixed to the openings?
Media Contacts:Company Name: Survivors for Good