Propane Explosion Causes

The results of a propane explosion can be disastrous and can cause severe damage to property and those who are in the vicinity. At Carabin Shaw Law Firm we stand ready to help you get your lives back together. Call us today at 1.800.862.1260

Propane is dangerously flammable when mixed with air (oxygen) and can be ignited by many sources, including, smoking materials electrical sparks, open flames, and static electricity. Its vapors are heavier than air. For this reason, they may accumulate in low-lying areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and ditches, or along floors. However, air currents can sometimes carry propane vapors elsewhere within a building.

Because Propane is a hydrocarbon, it is generally stored in a tank as a liquid and used as a gas. Because it is stored under pressure, there is a risk of explosion.

Possible causes of propane explosions are:

  • Tank leaks;
  • Improper installation of a gas stove, dryer or other gas appliance;
  • Improper maintenance of a propane tank, for example, not replacing an old regulator or failing to maintain any part of the propane system;
  • Failure to take the appropriate measures during refill, including failure to relight appliances for homeowners;
  • Improper inspection of the propane tank by the propane gas supplier;
  • Gas that is not properly odorized with a compound called ethyl mercaptan, which is added according to federal and industry safety requirements so that consumers will know when there is a leak—it smells like rotting cabbage; and
  • Grill fires and explosions.

Propane is odorized with a compound called ethyl mercaptan, which is added to make it smell like rotten eggs and thereby alert people when there is a leak. Without the ethyl mercaptan, there is no smell.

The lining of the tank can react with the ethyl mercaptan and remove the odor from the propane. For this reason, a new tank should be filled 100%, which prevents the deoderization. Unknown to you, propane gas can leak out of the tank and filled the air. There can be no odor to alert you to the danger. If you lit a match, the house exploded.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a propane tank, call the lawyers at Carabin Shaw Law Firm at 1.800.862.1260. Our team is ready to help you and those you love put your life back together.

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