A little late posting this, but…
Until two days ago, Blitz USA was the largest manufacturer of gasoline cans in the country. Blitz employed 117 people, and provided benefits like health insurance to their families, in a town of about 13,600 people in the rural town of Miami, Oklahoma. (Yeah, yeah, no math, but…given that about 25% of Miami’s population is under 18 and 20% who are 65 and older, that means Blitz employed about 1.5% of the town’s adult population.)
Blitz USA shut down two days ago due to overwhelming lawsuits from people who, despite warnings on the cans and despite the common sense God gave a 5-year-old, used their cans to pour gasoline directly on a fire and got burned. One rocket scientist in 2005 managed to burn himself and kill his two-year-old daughter by putting the nozzle of the gas can directly into a lit wood-burning stove and pouring. Another Einstein left a full gas can in their backyard and then was surprised when his two-year-old son (who was unsupervised for just a minute, he promises!) carried off the can and poured gasoline on himself and the vapors caught on fire.
I’m seeing a pattern here…is there a redneck trend of setting your Terrible Twos on fire to get rid of them?
The cans were sold at WalMart, so we might assume that the IQs and educations of the users prevent them from being able to read the warning labels on the gas can instructing users to keep the cans away from flames.
The plaintiffs in these cases are arguing that flame arresters and a more childproof cap would have prevented these accidents. As of 2007, no standard for flame arresters had been established by the CPSC (yes, the same agency that just went overboard by banning Buckyballs), but there was concern that adding a flame arrester could cause gas to spill out of the can if the can was filled too quickly. On hot pavement near a bunch of gas pumps is exactly where you want a puddle of highly flammable liquid.
UPDATE: That rocket scientist I mentioned above, David Calder…he put the flames on his daughter out, then left her in the trailer while he ran outside. He was outside long enough for the entire trailer to catch fire.