Propane Explosions: The Danger, The Causes, and Your Legal Rights

Propane gas has a wide range of consumer uses including heating a home, providing hot water, or firing up a grill. Its flammability is essential to its value, but it is also makes it extremely dangerous. Propane explosions are a continuing threat and can lead to severe injury or even death. Our Sacramento fire injury attorney can help the injured or the grieving, whether it is through a product liability suit or a premises liability action. We can help after the fact, but we will always believe that prevention should come first and that it is better to avoid an accident than to reassemble the pieces after a tragedy.

Elk Grove Teen in Critical Condition After Propane Explosion
It was early Thursday morning when an explosion rocked the Elk Grove community. As reported by the Sacramento Bee, a call came in to the Cosumnes Fire Department at 7:37 A.M. reporting a trailer fire in the city located just south of Sacramento. Fire crews arrived at 8572 Alpine Blue Court where an explosion had damaged two homes in addition to the trailer. Responders also found a badly burned 16 year-old boy and transported him to UC Davis Medical Center in critical condition. Investigators believe the explosion originated from a propane tank used as a water heater for a camper-style trailer.

Propane Explosion Statistics & Safety Tips propane.jpg
According to the Nation Fire Prevention Association (“NFPA”), an international non-profit, between 2003 and 2007 fire departments in the United States responded to approximately 1,170 home structure fires per year involving liquid propane gas. These fires caused $48 million in property damage, injured 135 civilians, and led to 34 civilian fatalities. The study found that grills, hibachis, and barbecues were the most commonly involved equipment with the sparks or flames from such equipment serving as leading heat source for the explosions. Leaks or breaks were identified as the top contributing factors in the propane fires.

The NFPA recommends handling all propane-powered equipment carefully and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes following instructions when lighting pilots. Propane-powered grills should only be used outside of the home and gas cylinders should never be used or stored in the home. Additionally, propane gas equipment should be periodically inspected by professionals trained to identify leaks or malfunctioning parts. If you notice a strong gas odor, immediately leave the area and, once safely outside of the home, contact the fire department.

Northern California Burn Injury Attorney on Propane Fires
Propane explosions can be deadly and can leave survivors with permanent, painful burn injuries. Explosions can occur in the home or the workplace, with industrial sites posing a particular danger. As a Sacramento explosion law firm, we work with a range of experts to uncover the underlying cause of these explosions including defective products, improper installation, inadequate maintenance, improperly odorized gas and the failure to warn/provide adequate instructions for propane-related equipment. These causes may give rise to claims based on product liability, premises liability, or other legal principles. Californians injured by propane explosions and those who lost loved ones in propane fires deserve representation. Call to talk with our team and begin the process of recovering the compensation you deserve.

See Related Blog Posts:
Victims of Redwood City Blaze, as in Many Fires, Caught by Surprise

A Look at Sources of Compensation for Fire Injury Victims

(Photo by Erin Stevenson O’Connor)