Product Liability and Gas Explosions

Propane gas tanks may pose a grave danger due to their extreme flammability. Local and state jurisdictions are addressing the problem of fires and explosions caused by propane tanks by taking stronger safety precautions and providing education regarding gas tanks, in order to reduce the number of injuries and deaths caused by the tanks.

Propane gas can be used to power every day items such as: barbeques, emergency generators, pool heaters and clothes dryers. If handled appropriately, propane gas is relatively safe. Some of the causes of gas fires and explosions are:

Improper handling
Failure to follow safety codes
Defective products

Propane Barbeques and Safety Codes

Propane barbeques are the most common types of propane tank products to cause explosions or fires around the home. Also, they are the most common item to be recalled due to defective manufacturing or a defective design. Local and state laws now require that all propane gas tanks have an “over-fill prevention device” (OPD) to help prevent propane leaks. This new safety device automatically shuts off the flow of gas once 80 percent capacity has been reached.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions that owners of older models of propane gas tanks should replace them with newer models containing the OPD device. Overall, the manufacturers of propane gas tanks are no longer producing the older model tanks and most dealers are replacing them with the newer models for little or no cost to the consumer.

Product Liability and Propane Gas Tanks

Those injured by fires and explosions caused by propane gas tanks have successfully sought compensation for their injuries. Although OPD-equipped tanks are not mandatory in all states, manufacturers and retail refillers of these tanks are requiring them as a preventive measure against lawsuits.