New Federal Law Mandates Child Resistant Portable Gasoline Containers

July 18, 2008
Release Number: 08-334

Children and gasoline don't mix. With the passage of the Children's Gasoline Burn Prevention Act, an additional layer of fire safety and burn protection has been added for families across the country.

President George W. Bush signed the Act into law which requires portable gasoline containers manufactured for sale in the U.S. on or after January 17, 2009 to conform to child resistance safety requirements.

Gasoline containers will join containers with other flammable liquids, such as turpentine, charcoal lighter fluid, and torch fuel that are required to have child resistant closures. CPSC has jurisdiction over child resistant product packaging.

“Families who purchase gasoline cans with child resistant gas caps and who keep all flammable liquids out of the sight and reach of children are improving the safety of their homes,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord.

CPSC recommends these safety tips for consumers.

-Buy a gasoline container that is child resistant.

-Place a gasoline container in a well ventilated, cool area   

-Never store gasoline or other fuel inside the house, in the basement, or near a fuel-burning appliance, open flames, pilot lights, stoves, heaters, electric mowers, or any other sources of ignition.

-Never smoke near gasoline.

-Never carry gasoline in the trunk of the car. Escaping vapors can easily ignite. 

-Keep gasoline, kerosene and other fuels out of the reach of children. Never permit children to play with matches or fuel.

CPSC also requires child resistant packaging for many products that are dangerous for children to swallow including over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, household cleaning products including drain openers, personal care products such as baby oil and mouthwash containing ethanol, and adult strength vitamins and supplements with iron. For aspirin and oral prescription medicine, special packaging has saved the lives of about 900 children since the early 1970s.