On May 15, 2013, a propane tank connected to a gas grill exploded on the patio of a home in Agoura Hills, Calif. The condominium was engulfed in flames, but luckily the resident, Beck Rubin, saw the tank catch fire and fled to safety with her pets. Rubin told The Acorn that after turning off the barbecue when she finished grilling, she saw that the propane tank had caught fire. She called 911, grabbed her pets and ran.
Just two and a half weeks later, on June 2, a North Carolina man was taken to the hospital after his gas grill exploded. He reportedly had burns on 9% of his body, centered mostly around his face and ears.
Propane Explosions Not Uncommon. Protect Yourself.
Summer is here, and with it comes the wonderful season of backyard barbecues. Grilling
is a fun and generally safe activity, but there is also potential for disaster, especially when using gas grills. Propane-related grilling accidents are responsible for more than 6,500 fires and explosions each year, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Nothing ruins a barbecue like an exploding grill.
With that in mind, here are 3 easy steps to protecting you and your family from the danger, while still enjoying using your gas grill.
- Check the gas lines. Many people leave their propane tank connected to their grills year-round. Fluctuations in temperatures can cause these connections to loosen, and may cause lines to crack. This may cause a small and imperceptible, but ultimately extremely dangerous, gas leak. Before you light your grill, check the lines between your grill and the propane tank for damage and ensure the connections are secure.
- Check the certification date on the propane tank. Propane tanks should be inspected and re-certified 14 years after the date of manufacture. After this point, re-certification is required every 5 years. Do not depend on your tank filler to monitor these dates for you. Although they should check them before refilling tanks, this detail is often overlooked. Take safety into your own hands and check the date yourself.
- If you have any suspicions that your grill or tank is defective, do not light the grill. Pay attention to that little voice in your head that says, “Something is not right.” If something seems off, do not assume that everything is just fine because you cannot diagnose the problem. Call a professional to come inspect the grill and tank before using it. Even if puts a cramp in your plans for the evening, it’s not worth the risk of explosion to forge ahead despite concerns.
As a bonus tip, keep children clear of the grill. Explosions do not always occur during the initial lighting, as demonstrated by Rubin’s experience. Keeping children away as a general practice will help keep them safe just in case something does go wrong.
Companies Responsible for Defective Products That Cause Injuries
When a defective product causes damages, injury or wrongful death, the company which manufactured it may be responsible. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe and that proper instructions and warnings are issued. In the case of gas grill explosions, defects with the grill or the gas tank could be to blame. If you or a loved one was injured by a propane-related explosion, please contact the Perey Law Group immediately. You may be eligible for compensation for damages you incurred. You need a lawyer experienced in product liability to help you fight for justice. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation.