Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019
The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 806) to require compliant flame mitigation devices to be used on portable fuel containers for flammable liquid fuels, and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill as amended do pass.
H.R. 806, the ‘‘Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019’’, was introduced in the House on January 28, 2019, by Reps. Mike Thompson (D–CA) and David P. Joyce (R–OH) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. H.R. 806 directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue a mandatory standard that requires flame mitigation devices in portable fuel containers to prevent death or injuries from flame-jetting. It further directs the CPSC to conduct an education campaign to alert consumers to the dangers of using or storing portable fuel containers near ignition sources. The legislation also amends the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act to expand existing child-resistance requirements for closures for portable gasoline containers to include portable kerosene and diesel fuel containers and component parts
Portable fuel containers can explode when fuel vapor mixtures inside the container ignite with explosive force.1 This kind of explosion can occur inside a portable fuel container when the gas vapor escaping the container contacts a source of ignition, such as a flame or a spark.2 If the flame from the ignited vapor propagates back into the container through the spout and the gas and air vapor mixture inside the can is at a certain flammable concentration, that mixture inside can also ignite and cause an explosion.3 An investigation conducted by NBC News in 2013 found that a very low volume of gasoline inside the fuel container, low temperatures, ‘‘aged’’ gasoline that has been in storage, and holding the container at an angle increase the likelihood of an explosion. According to the National Fire Protection Association, municipal fire departments in the United States respond to an average of 160,910 fires per year involving the ignition of a flammable or combustible liquid.4 These fires cause approximately 454 civilian deaths, nearly 3,910 civilian injuries, and an estimated $1.5 billion in direct property damage annually.5 The CPSC has counted at least 11 deaths and 1,200 emergency room visits specifically involving gas can explosions during the pouring of gasoline between 1998 and 2013.6 Flame mitigation devices allow fuel to pass through but prevent flames from entering the container, preventing flashback explosions. Flame mitigation devices designed for portable fuel containers are usually small pieces of mesh or disks with holes designed to prevent flame from passing through by absorbing and dispersing heat.7 Flame arrestors are commonly required by various commercial and industrial equipment subject to regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.8 In 2013, the CPSC called on the portable fuel container industry to add flame arresters to its products. In February 2019, a new voluntary consensus standard on portable fuel containers was adopted that requires the addition of a flame mitigation device, ASTM F3326– 19a.9 H.R. 806 is needed to make sure there is a mandatory standard for portable fuel containers that requires effective flame mitigation devices.
How to Use Smart-Fill Containers
The Briggs & Stratton Smart-Fill Fuel Filling System features self-venting spout and a fuel shut-off valve which automatically closes as the nozzle is lifted away from the lip of the fuel tank being filled. This stops the flow of gas and prevents fumes from escaping. The angled tip on the nozzle also provides safer and easier pouring while allowing you to see inside the container being filled. The Smart-Fill also comes equipped with a child-safe cap.
For a look at the Smart-Fill Fuel Container in action, including step-by-step instructions for assembly, venting and pouring, please view the video below.
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