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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Thompson's Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Fire Accidents Passes the House

Sep 17, 2019
Press Release
Bill inspired by constituent story heads to Senate

Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05) announced that his bipartisan bill, the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act, has passed the House and is headed to the Senate for consideration. This bill directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish a standard requiring Flame Mitigation Devices to be used to prevent fire accidents.

“Flame accidents have tragic and deadly consequences, but there’s a simple and cost-effective solution to keep our communities safer. When my constituent, Margrett Lewis, came to me with her family’s story, I knew that it was past time for Congress to take action,” said Thompson. “Today, I was proud to see the House pass this bill to help prevent these terrible accidents and I look forward to swift consideration in the Senate.”

You can view Thompson’s floor statement in support of H.R. 806, the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act, by clicking here.

“By ensuring portable fuel containers come equipped with basic safety measures, we will prevent dangerous accidents that threaten thousands of lives every year,” said Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH). “We need to have a standard in place that ensures these containers can function as safely and effectively as possible. I was proud to introduce this legislation alongside Congressman Mike Thompson and look forward to seeing our colleagues in the Senate take action on the bill soon.”

Under current standards, flammable or combustible liquids can ignite within their containers causing more than 160,000 fires, injuring nearly 4,000 people, and killing 454 each year. Flame mitigation devices can help prevent these types of accidents, but currently there is no requirement for them to be used for the consumer containers found in most homes and for everyday use. Thompson’s bill would establish safety standards to help prevent these tragic accidents.

“The Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2019 will prevent hundreds of people from suffering disfiguring burns each year,” stated Harold A. Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters which represents more than 317,000 professional fire fighters. “The IAFF applauds Representative Thompson and the U.S. House of Representatives for acting swiftly to pass this common-sense legislation.”

“Burn injuries are among the most severe any patient can face, causing untold pain and requiring lengthy treatment and recovery. Until manufacturers include flame mitigation devices on all types of containers, consumers will continually be at-risk of serious injury.  We applaud Reps. Thompson and Joyce in their tireless efforts to advance this legislation,” said William G. Cioffi, Jr., M.D., FACS, President of the American Burn Association. 

The legislation is endorsed by the American Burn Association, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the Consumer Federation of America, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Association of State Fire Marshalls, the National Volunteer Fire Council, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Phoenix Society of Burn Survivors.

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Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Subcommittee on Tax Policy. Rep. Thompson is Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is also Co-Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus and a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition.