Investigation Highlights The Explosion Danger Posed By Gas Canisters

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Many persons will tote around a gasoline canister without thinking anything about the potential perils of these items.  The red container has become a fairly standard sight in homes and business across the country, but NBC News recently came out with an investigation that found serious accidents associated with these products may be rare but are still more common than you might realize.

Since 1998, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been able to record 1,200 trips to the emergency room associated with a gasoline canister.  There have also been 11 fatalities that have occurred in conjunction with the hazard.

What can happen in certain cases is that the vapors that reside within the canister can react in a certain way that triggers an explosion.  Tests from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute showed that these explosions are possible when the canister has a minimal amount of gas inside.  If the vapor emanating from a plastic canister when opened makes contact with some type of open flame, that ignition can essentially make its way back to the can, leading to an explosion that can do serious damage to the person holding it.

The report notes that 80 product liability lawsuits have been filed as persons contend that they were provided with a dangerous item.  Many of these claims point out that flame arresters could help mitigate the explosion hazard.