Propane is used by individuals at residences as well as businesses for commercial purposes. In general, most people use propane appropriately, and injuries do not occur. However, there are times when propane can cause explosions, leading to serious injuries and extensive property damage. Here, we want to examine some of the most common causes of propane explosions. With this information, we hope that you will be able to take the steps necessary to prevent a serious incident from occurring on your property.
Propane Has Many Uses
Propane is a synthetic material. It is a byproduct of oil and natural gas processing, and it is incredibly combustible. It is because of this combustibility that it is used for a variety of purposes in both residential and commercial settings, including the following:
- Engine fuel
- Central heating
- …and more
The same combustible quality that makes propane useful for these other purposes also creates extensive dangers in the event proper safety precautions are not followed or if the equipment is malfunctioning.
Common Causes of Propane Explosion Incidents
- Open bleeder valve. “Bleeder” valves on propane tanks allow the propane to escape the tank if there is excess internal pressure. This prevents the tank from exploding. If a bleeder valve is left open, any open flame in the area of the tank could cause a fire. If other propane tanks are stored nearby and a fire occurs as a result of an open bleeder valve, this heat could cause bleeder valves to open on the other tanks, expanding the fire and resulting in a chain reaction incident.
- Odor fade. Propane is an odorless gas, but OSHA safety regulations require that a chemical be added to the propane that causes a sulfuric or “rotten egg” smell in the event propane is leaking. If this chemical is not properly added, or if it has been some time since the tank was filled, the odor could become undetectable, leading to a propane leak being undetectable as well.
- Careless or reckless behavior. One of the most preventable yet common causes of a propane tank explosion is the improper use of a propane tank or reckless behavior around a propane tank. This can include any number of activities, including purposely putting a propane tank on fire or near a heat source or using a propane tank as target practice for firearms.
- Fires. Often, propane tank explosion causes have nothing to do with the propane tank in the first place. If a fire starts anywhere in the vicinity of a propane tank, this could lead to a disastrous event if the fire reaches the tank.
Contact a Propane Tank Explosion Attorney for Help With Your Case
If you or somebody you care about has been hurt in a propane explosion, you need to find the best legal assistance possible to help you recover compensation. At the Doan Law Firm, we have a track record of success handling complex explosion injury claims in Texas and throughout the US. We have an extensive network of resources that we can use to help ensure that you recover the compensation you are entitled to for your losses. When you need a Houston propane explosion attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation or by calling (800) 349-0000.