WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new standard going into effect July 2023 is working to make gas cans and fuel containers safer for people.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said the standard impacts new gas cans and other containers that are sold empty, such as for kerosene and diesel, and on new containers that are sold pre-filled with fuels such as charcoal lighter fluid, liquid fireplace fuels and pre-mixed gasoline and engine fuel.

Each year, thousands of people go to emergency departments with burn injuries related to flammable liquids. Many burn incidents involve liquid fuel used on a backyard fire pit, a campfire, a bonfire or burning trash. Vapors from these liquids are invisible and dangerous.

CPSC on importance of safety standard

The CPSC said the standard will require flame mitigation devices, such as flame arrestors. These devices protect against flame jetting and container rupturing.

The CPSC said flame jetting is a phenomenon where an external ignition source causes a sudden ignition of fuel within a container and forcefully expels burning vapor and liquid from the mouth of the container, resulting in a blowtorch-like effect. Container rupturing is like flame jetting, except the burning vapor and liquid are expelled through a rupture in the container.

Most fuel containers already have this safety device in place.