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What Causes a Natural Gas Explosion?

Posted on September 30, 2021 in

Natural gas has many uses in both industrial and residential settings in the US. Most commonly, though, natural gas is used for heating and generating electricity. Unfortunately, natural gas can lead to significant explosions that cause major injuries and property damage. Here, we want to look at the main causes of natural gas explosions. If you understand how these explosions are most likely to occur, you can take the steps necessary to ensure that your business or home is safe.

Natural Gas Explosion Statistics

According to data available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), we can see that there are an estimated 4,200 home structure fires that occur each year that started with the ignition of natural gas. Annually, these fires and explosions result in approximately 40 deaths.

Every day, local fire departments across the US respond to an average of 340 natural gas or another type of gas leak that results in no ignition. Even though gas leaks are much more common than gas ignitions, these leaks can be precursors to a more devastating fire or explosion.

What Causes These Explosions?

It is crucial to understand how natural gas explosions occur, both inside of a home or in a commercial setting. Some of the main causes of natural gas explosions include:

  • Improper use of a gas stove, appliance, or furnace
  • The leaking of gas lines due to them being incorrectly installed
  • Old, worn, or rusty gas lines coming from a street into a home
  • Defective equipment, including gas grills, acetylene torches, or other equipment that uses natural gas as a fuel source
  • Violations of various codes or standards that govern the safe handling of natural gas
  • Defective manufacturing procedures when building natural gas equipment or appliances

How Do You Know If You Are At Risk?

If you have natural gas coming into your home or business, you need to remain vigilant. First, mercaptan is added to natural gas and propane to give it a “rotten egg” smell. If you notice this smell in your home, you need to leave the premises immediately. Get to a safe location and call 911 to report a possible gas leak. Do not turn on the lights, use your cell phone, or use a garage door opener. This could cause a spark that could ignite the gas that is in the air.

Additionally, you should contact someone who performs regular inspection and maintenance on your gas equipment, even if you have not noticed any type of smell. The best way to ensure that an explosion does not occur is to take steps that will prevent these incidents in the first place. You need to find out how old the gas lines in your house are, determine whether or not they need replacing or repairing, and take steps to do so as soon as possible.

Contact a Skilled Gas Explosion Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a natural gas explosion at your home or at a place of business, you need to seek assistance from a Houston gas explosion attorney as soon as possible. These cases can become incredibly complicated, particularly when working against negligent companies or manufacturers. It is important for an attorney to conduct a complete investigation, gather the evidence needed to determine liability, and handle all negotiations with insurance carriers to recover the compensation you are entitled to. Contact The Doan Law Firm’s experienced attorneys for your free consultation.