A warning has been issued in relation to a potential explosion hazard from using red plastic portable petrol containers most consumers use to fill lawnmowers.
Lab tests have indicated that under certain rare conditions, gas vapour mixtures can explode inside those cans and cause significant injuries. Tests carried out in the USA which analysed incident and injury figures revealed at least 11 reported deaths and 1,200 emergency room visits involving gas can explosions during the pouring of gasoline since 1998.
When there is very little petrol left in the container a flash back explosion can occur when escaping gas vapour comes in contact with an ignition source- a flame or spark. The vapour outside the container can ignite and “flash back” inside the can. If it does and if the gas/air vapour mixture inside the can is a certain concentration that mixture can ignite and cause an explosion of flame.
Over the last two decades at least 80 lawsuits have been filed by individuals injured in alleged gas can explosions. The law suits have argued that portable plastic gas cans are dangerous and unsafe because they are susceptible to flash back explosions.