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431-00032 (Consumer protection)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

  • Currently there is no requirement for consumer use, portable and disposable fuel containers to have a flame arrester on the opening of the container, any gaseous vapors that encounter a spark, heat source or flame may ignite the invisible vapor trail, causing a flamethrower effect with potentially catastrophic results.
  • In 2007, the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) formed a subcommittee to address the issue of burn injuries resulting from portable fuel container use. Here is their working statement: It has been determined by the ASTM 15.10 Flame arrestor task group and outside researchers that flame arrestors would reduce and virtually eliminate flashback explosions in portable gasoline containers as they have in alcohol and charcoal lighter fluid fuel containers. In fact, no portable gasoline container with a functioning flame arrestor has been found to have experienced a flashback explosion in the container. Further, no alcohol or charcoal lighter fluid container with a functioning flame arrester has been found to have experienced a flashback explosion in the container
  • In 2017 ASTM-WK60590 (New Specification for fuel mitigation devices on disposable fuel containers) was Proposed in Canada with the rationale that the Standard is needed to protect consumers against flame jetting when pouring flammable liquids over open flame or other heat sources

We, the undersigned Citizens and residents of Canada sign this petition freely and call upon the Government of Canada to legislate a Bill requiring Operational Flame Arresters on all Consumer disposable flammable liquid fuel containers.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Darren Fisher

The Government of Canada shares your concerns regarding the serious fire and burn risks associated with the use of disposable flammable liquid fuel containers that are not equipped with a functional flame arrestor. We are committed to helping protect Canadians from potentially harmful consumer products.   

In response to incident reports describing fatalities and serious injuries, Health Canada has assessed the hazard associated with flame-jetting occurrences that may result from the use of pourable alcohol-based fuels and portable firepots. In 2019, Health Canada determined that certain fire pots that use pourable fuels and certain containers of pourable alcohol-based fuels that are not equipped with a functional flame mitigation device (FMD) pose a danger to human health or safety, as per the meaning of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA). Health Canada focused its assessment and risk management actions on containers of pourable alcohol-based fuels. Alcohol-based fuels are particularly dangerous because alcohol flames are difficult to see, especially when the fuel is low, and this has led to consumers pouring fuel over a pre-existing flame.

To inform Canadians about the flame-jetting hazard that may be present with the use of products that they have already purchased, Health Canada published an advisory on October 9, 2019 highlighting the health and safety risks of certain pourable fuels and portable firepots and steps that Canadians can take to avoid incidents. On the same day, Health Canada published a new portable fireplaces, firepots, and liquid and gel fuels safety webpage, which informs Canadians about the flame-jetting hazard and safe use practices for pourable fuels and portable firepots. We will continue to work to raise awareness on these important safety messages.

Products that pose a danger to human health or safety are prohibited from manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale in Canada. On October 9, 2019, Health Canada distributed a notice to industry, consumer groups, Canadian burn care centres, and establishments that may manufacture, import, advertise or sell the products of concern detailing the danger conclusion and the identified measures that can be taken to reduce health or safety risks. Health Canada has been actively working with industry to make sure products are compliant. If a company does not cooperate with Health Canada to voluntarily remove a product that represents a serious risk to human health or safety, Health Canada can escalate compliance and enforcement actions, depending on the severity of the situation or concern. This may include publishing advisories, product seizures, orders and/or the issuance of a notice of violation that assesses an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) calculated in accordance with the Administrative Monetary Penalties (Consumer Products) Regulations under the CCPSA.

Health Canada has been collaborating with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and other stakeholders in the development of two ASTM International safety standards to address the flame-jetting hazard. A safety standard related to firepots was published in February 2019 (ASTM F3363–19, Standard Specification for Unvented Liquid/Gel Fuel-Burning Portable Devices). Another safety standard related to FMDs on disposable fuel containers is currently being developed (ASTM WK60590 – New Standard Specification for Flame Mitigation Devices for Disposable Flammable Liquid Fuel Containers) and is expected be finalized by spring 2020.

Presented to the House of Commons
Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
December 12, 2019 (Petition No. 431-00032)
Government response tabled
January 27, 2020
Photo - Kevin Waugh
Saskatoon—Grasswood
Conservative Caucus
Saskatchewan

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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