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Over fourteen million homes across the United States use a form of propane in and around their homes to power a variety of appliances and other items. Propane can be used by water heaters, ovens, cook tops, furnaces, outdoor grills, generators, and fireplaces. While a useful form of energy, propane can also be dangerous. Propane is an extremely flammable gas that must be handled with care. It is considered a heavy gas that can accumulate in low lying areas, such as the basement or floors. When propane gas reaches dangerous levels, explosions may occur. Even when kept in cylinders, propane gas can leak or build up pressure when exposed to high heat, which will potentially rupture the tank and explode.
Propane is an odorless and colorless gas in its natural state, but when sold it is intentionally odorized so that any leaks can be detected. The odor of leaking propane is similar to rotten eggs. If you smell a gas leak in your home, you should extinguish any candles or cigarettes, along with any other potential sources of ignition and evacuate the property immediately. Do not use any appliances, electric switches, thermostats, or telephones, as any of these things can cause a fatal spark. Call your local fire department or propane supplier right away from a cell phone or a safe location. You will need a trained investigator to investigate and repair the leak.
Propane Explosions Rock Texas
Last summer, several Texas homes were destroyed due to propane explosions and several people were injured. In July, a New Braunfels carport and shed were destroyed and the vehicle inside essentially melted following a propane fueled explosion. Thankfully no injuries were reported.
A Willis, Texas family was not so fortunate. Days before the New Braunfels accident, three people were flown to a medical center for severe injuries associated with a propane explosion. Propane gas leaked and accumulated overnight as the residents of the home slept, eventually causing an explosion. The blast was so great that it blew in doors, shattered windows, knocked pictures off the walls, and caused ceilings to fall in residences surrounding the area. The home itself was completely destroyed.
Propane Explosions and Negligence
Propane explosions can often be traced back to negligence on behalf of the propane provider, the property owner, or the makers of any propane cylinders or tanks. In Colorado, the survivors of a propane gas explosion were awarded $2.5 million after an explosion in a state bank. The lawsuit alleged that the gas provider ignored reports of a leak within the gas system and failed to conduct mandatory gas inspection tests. Further, the company did not put an odorant in the gas that could have alerted people to the leak.
If you have been the victim of a propane explosion that could have been caused by the negligence of another, consult with a licensed attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Zinda Law Group: Protecting Propane Users
Propane explosions or accidents can result in serious injuries to you and your family. If you have been involved in a propane related explosion, the Texas Propane Explosion Attorneys at Zinda Law Group are here to help. Our experienced attorneys offer the skilled assistance you need to obtain your maximum compensation. Our compassionate attorney team offers a free consultation to new clients and has several convenient office locations in Austin and across Texas. Do not delay in seeking legal assistance as your right to file a claim following your propane accident is time sensitive. Call Zinda Law Group toll free at 800-863-5312 to start on your path to a full recovery.