Fuel geysering incidents can be devastating. When fuel geysering happens, victims can suffer from severe burns and serious injuries caused by hot gasoline.
According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), a fuel geyser is, “The rapid and energetic expulsion of heated fuel in a closed container when a fuel container is quickly depressurized.” When fuel geysers, gasoline sprays out of the fuel tank, potentially injuring anyone it contacts.
Geysering can happen anytime there is fuel combined with heat and pressure. The risk for geysering is most common when using small, gasoline-powered engines, but geysering can happen when opening fuel containers, as well. There are several factors that can contribute to fuel geysering, including product defects.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fuel geysering incident, a Los Angeles fuel geysering lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation. To learn more about what a lawyer can do for you, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444.
More About Fuel Geysering
When the fuel in a closed container becomes agitated or heated, it can become pressurized. When a fuel cap is removed, gas from a partially filled container can rapidly depressurize, creating a fuel geyser of liquid and vapor. Fuel spray can cause significant burns, and serious injuries can happen if the fuel vapor ignites.
In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported the formation of the USDA Forest Service National Fuel Geyser Awareness Campaign after an increase in reported fuel geyser incidents during the previous two years. According to the NWCG, in 2018, there were 28 reported fuel geyser incidents, 23 involving chainsaws, four involving gas cans, and one involving a leaf blower.
Clearly, fuel geysering is a safety hazard in the firefighting field due to the potential for fuel to become superheated. However, anyone who regularly uses small, gasoline-powered engines or gas cans has a higher risk of injury. In addition to firefighters, this may include mechanics, agricultural workers, and landscapers. If you have suffered an injury, a Los Angeles fuel geysering lawyer may be able to help you seek damages.
How to Prevent Fuel Geysering
The NWCG urges the following precautions when there is fuel, heat, and pressure:
- Always assume fuel tanks and containers are pressurized.
- Make sure fuel caps are secure.
- Check fuel levels before opening the tank (levels greater than half a tank may geyser).
- Cover the cap with a rag to prevent potential spray.
- Open the cap slowly and direct spray away from yourself and others.
- Move at least 20 feet away from any heat source when fueling.
- Start equipment at least 10 feet from the fueling area.
- Exercise extra vigilance when equipment is running poorly, and the tank is more than half full.
The USDA provides additional guidelines on fuel safety. To help prevent geysering:
- Obtain fuel locally. Fuel blends and volatility can change by season and geography.
- Be aware of where you purchase fuel and where you use fuel. Fuel purchased in colder, northern climates is more likely to geyser when used in warmer, southern regions.
- Do not use fuel older than one month.
If you were injured because another party did not take the above precautions, or acted negligently in another way, you might be able to sue them.
For a free legal consultation with a Fuel Geysering Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Chemical Burns and Burn Injuries
Fuel geysers can release gasoline in the form of vapor. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to gasoline can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
Gasoline also can cause chemical burns, according to Mayo Clinic. Seek medical attention for deep chemical burns, burns larger than 3 inches, or burns on the face, feet, hands, groin, buttocks, or major joints.
The most serious injuries from fuel geysering occur when gasoline vapor travels to an ignition source and flashes back. This can result in severe burn injuries. In addition to the situations mentioned above, Mayo Clinic advises medical treatment if:
- Burns cause the skin to look leathery.
- You experience difficulty breathing or have burns in the airway.
- There are signs of infection, such as oozing, redness, swelling, or increased pain.
- There is significant scarring.
- There are new or unexplained symptoms.
Los Angeles Fuel Geysering Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How a Lawyer Can Help
Sometimes, fuel geysering is caused by defective or unsafe equipment. For example, Stihl, a major equipment manufacturer, recalled its MS461 model chainsaws in 2017. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) cites 117 reports of pinched or leaking fuel lines as the reason for the recall. This defect poses a fire and burn risk, and could contribute to fuel geysering.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a fuel geysering incident, you may be entitled to seek compensation. You should not have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, or because of a company’s defective product.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses: This may include hospital stays, surgeries, medications, doctor visits, ongoing treatments, physical therapy, and more.
- Pain and suffering: This may include physical and mental anguish suffered because of your injury. You may be entitled to compensation for permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of a limb.
- Lost wages: If your injury has caused you to miss work, you may be able to seek awards for lost wages. You may also seek future wages if you are unable to work in the same capacity as before your injury.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one was killed in an accident or died because of their injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for your loss. You may also be able to seek damages on their behalf.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our goal is to help you with your claim so that you can focus on your recovery. We have helped thousands of clients nationwide achieve millions of dollars in successful settlements. Contact our team risk-free at (800) 794-0444 to learn more about how a Los Angeles fuel geysering lawyer may be able to help you with your case.