All 10-gallon gas cans manufactured after 2009 feature child-resistant closures in compliance with the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act. Gas cans must also conform to the Mobile Source Air Toxic regulation which is intended to reduce emissions of airborne toxins.
The forerunner of today's plastic gas cans was invented in Germany during the 1930s and was made from pressed steel. These containers, known as jerrycans, were designed for military use and could hold up to 20 liters of fuel. In the State of California, all portable fuel containers are required to be color-coded, red for gasoline, yellow for diesel and blue for kerosene.