Common Causes of Propane Explosions

Last updated on: April 9, 2015

CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with gas explosion lawyers about the common causes of propane explosions

Because of its flammability and combustibility, propane is useful in a number of different applications; these can include fueling engines, heating homes and other buildings, or even lighting up the backyard grill when summertime rolls around. However, the same characteristics that make propane useful also make it very dangerous. Even when taking all of the proper precautions, propane tank explosions can occur and cause serious injury to anyone nearby. That’s why it’s important to know the common causes of propane explosions.

After a propane tank explosion has injured you or a family member, speaking with a gas explosion lawyer can be a critically important step. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a 100% free case evaluation with a lawyer who handles personal injury cases involving gas explosions; the sooner you call, the sooner we can begin gathering the evidence to build your case against the person or parties responsible for your gas explosion injuries.

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What should I do after a propane tank explosion?

For many people, dealing with a propane tank explosion is an entirely new experience. Victims likely don’t know what to do to begin the process of seeking compensation for their injuries, and some free but professional legal advice—specifically, personal injury help—would be very welcome. While there is no way to give appropriate advice without knowing the specific details of your case, there are a few steps that all victims should take after a propane tank explosion.

1. Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, before thinking about compensation or the legal process, it is important that you get your medical needs taken care of. The sooner you can get attention from a medical professional, the better; some injuries may progressively get worse the longer they are left untreated, so getting medical attention can help to stop this progression. In addition, some injuries may not present symptoms right away; for example, a blast injury victim could sustain a concussion and be unaware that they have suffered one, which can be a very dangerous situation.

2. Document the Accident

In every sort of personal injury case, it is far better to be overprepared than underprepared; this preparation starts relatively soon after an accident occurs. If you are able to, begin documenting the accident immediately by taking pictures of the scene of the explosion as thoroughly as possible; also, be sure to keep all documentation related to the accident and your injuries that you collect as you move forward. If the accident occurred while you were at work, make sure to report the accident to your supervisor immediately if they are not aware of what happened.

3. Contact a Gas Explosion Injury Lawyer

The best way to understand what your options are and how much, if any, potential compensation you may be entitled to is to work through the details of your situation with an experienced gas explosion injury lawyer in your area. First, they will work to determine where the explosion originated from and what caused it. If they reach the determination that another party is liable for your injuries, they can help you to hold them accountable and fight for the compensation that you are entitled to.

What are the common causes of propane explosions?

Propane is often stored and transported in large tanks. These tanks can range in size from larger tanks used to power home appliances to the smaller tanks that can be used to fuel a backyard grill. Propane tanks will never spontaneously combust without some outside cause, but unfortunately, there are several situations that might lead to a propane tank explosion.

Manufacturing Defect

Because of the volatile contents within, propane tanks are constructed with careful specifications to try to keep users safe. Unfortunately, if there is a manufacturing defect somewhere along the line of production, whether that be a faulty design or something that occurred during the manufacturing process itself, the propane tank may explode.

Improper Installation and Maintenance

Similar to their construction, propane tanks require careful installation and maintenance by professionals who know what they’re doing. If a propane tank is installed improperly or maintained defectively or simply not at all, this can also lead to a propane tank explosion.

Negligent Transportation

Before they are transported anywhere or by any means, propane tanks should be checked for any faults or leaks; if the tank is not properly sealed, then the heat produced by a motor vehicle or train car may cause the gas to ignite. In addition to the tanks themselves, the vehicle that is transporting the tanks should be in good working order. A faulty vehicle can lead to an accident, and the force and heat that is generated in a motor vehicle accident could cause a propane tank to explode.

propane tank explosion injuries

When a propane tank explodes, a variety of different injuries can result. Depending on the circumstances of the explosion and how far away from it the victim was, a victim may only suffer a few minor injuries, or they may suffer many major injuries. Some of the possible injuries that a victim might experience include:

Heat Injuries

When people think of a propane tank explosion, their mind might immediately conjure up images of a huge ball of fire. Though a real propane gas explosion might not be as cinematic, propane explosions nevertheless have the capacity to generate large amounts of heat, and this can do real damage to a victim. For example, extreme heat from the explosion can cause serious burn injuries, which is one of the most painful types of injuries.

Shrapnel Injuries

Propane tanks are made out of metal, and when thy explode, sharp shards of this material can come flying off in every direction. Depending on the size and shape of the debris that may come off of the explosion, these pieces can cause serious lacerations or other types of injuries. There may also be other material surrounding the propane tank that becomes a dangerous projectile when impacted by the blast force.

Blast Injuries

In addition to sending material flying, propane tank explosions themselves can be very dangerous. Explosions of any kind can generate an enormous amount of pressure in addition to heat and flames. When these waves of pressure come into contact with a victim, injuries like concussions or the rupturing of eardrums or eyes can occur.

gas explosion safety tips

Because of the potential ramifications of a propane tank explosion, it is far preferable to get out ahead of them and prevent them before they happen. While accidents do happen even if you have followed every precaution, the risk can be minimized by following some important safety tips.

Never Use Outdoor Appliances Inside

Propane appliances that are meant to be used outside should only ever be used outside, with no exceptions. Appliances that burn propane as fuel need a certain amount of space for ventilation, and if they do not have it, then you could be placing yourself and those around you in extreme danger.

Never Store Propane Cylinders in Enclosed Areas

It is also important that propane cylinders not be stored in small, enclosed areas for similar reasons. Proper ventilation is key, and if this is not present, then the potential dangers of propane can quickly become a devastating reality.

Never Modify or Repair Valves, Regulators, or Other Parts

As mentioned previously, propane tanks and other attachments meant for use with propane are designed specifically and exactingly due to the potential harm that can result if this is not done. Unless you have specific training in dealing with these parts, do not attempt to modify anything yourself. If you need a repair, contact someone with the proper training and licensing for working with propane.

who is liable for my injuries?

In order to be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, there must be another party who can be held liable, or at fault, for them. If no one acted in a negligent manner or the fault for the accident lies with the injured party themselves, then there will likely be no compensation available. Some of the parties who may be liable for an explosion include:

The Propane Tank Manufacturer

It is critical that manufacturers of propane tanks follow exacting specifications in the design and manufacturing process given the volatile nature of propane. If they fail to do this at any point in the process and this failure ends up causing an injury, then they may be held liable and ordered to pay damages.

The Manufacturer of Propane Tank Parts

Propane tanks may be made out of several different components that all have different manufacturers. Because of this, there could be multiple components that could potentially fail and cause an explosion. Even if all the parts were compiled together by a single propane tank manufacturer, the manufacturer of an individual component could be held liable if theirs was the component that failed.

The Owner of a Propane Tank

An owner of a propane tank or propane-fueled appliance could be held liable for injuries if their careless storage or use of the tank caused injury to a victim.

call zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation

Perhaps the most important thing to remember after experiencing your accident is that you don’t need to go through it alone. A free personal injury claims guide is available from Zinda Law Group. In addition, Zinda Law Group will not charge you anything until we win your case for you—that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee; this means that you have nothing to lose by reaching out to schedule a consultation with one of our propane explosion personal injury lawyers about your unique situation today.

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