- gas leaks
- water heater
- furnace boiler
- gas grill
- combustible products
- glass containers
- cooking flour
. . . and we will be discussing what you can do to prevent explosions from each one of these.
While explosions from gas leaks are fortunately not very common, their impacts can nonetheless be devastating. To prevent an explosion from leaks of natural gas or propane, everyone in your home should be familiar with the smell of gas. Your gas company should be able to give you a “scratch & sniff” card to help you learn this distinctive odor. You should also have all of your gas appliances serviced and inspected each year by a trained professional. And you should consider installing a gas leak detector, especially if anyone in your home has trouble identifying smells.
It is important to note that if you ever suspect that you have a gas leak, that you should immediately leave your house, and do NOT touch any electrical switches and do NOT use your home phone or cellphone until you are a safe distance from your house. The reason is that even the slightest electrical connection can touch off the gas, and trigger an explosion.
A water heater tank that is over-pressured can generate tremendous force when it explodes. To prevent this from happening in your home, you should have your water heater serviced once a year by a trained professional. And you will want to check with them to be sure that you have a relief device installed on your unit that protects both against excessive pressure AND excessive temperature. Also, to be safe, you should have your pressure and temperature relief valve replaced every 3 years. And if you ever adjust the temperature limit on your water heater, be sure to never allow it to exceed more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Similar to a water heater, if your home has a furnace boiler for creating hot water for your heating system, then you will want to take similar precautions to what we just described for water heaters.
6,000 gas grill explosions occur every year, causing severe injuries and sometimes deaths. To prevent you or your family from being part of this statistic, you should read all safety instructions before using your grill. You should do routine maintenance inspections, and replace any damaged parts immediately. Also, do not use a propane tank if it is dented or damaged in any way. And do not store your propane tanks near any heat sources, nor carry a propane tank in your car trunk on a hot day.
The next cause of too many explosions in the home is from combustible household products. You should be aware of which products that you use in your home are flammable, and be sure to store these combustible liquids, sprays and powders in cool locations. And you will want to be sure that these storage areas are very well ventilated, so that you don’t have a chance of fumes building up. Although it may be convenient, you should never store any cooking spray, flammable insect repellants, or any other combustible products near your stove. And get rid of any dented cans or damaged containers for any flammable products.
A frequent cause of eye damage in the home is from explosions of glass containers. To prevent glass container explosions, never shake carbonated liquids that are in glass bottles or containers. And especially keep carbonated beverages that are in glass containers away from children, who may shake or run with them. Also, before you use any glassware in your microwave or oven, you will want to be sure that they are a type of glass which is made for this use. Do not leave glass containers on stove burners, and never put glass containers of liquid in a freezer (unless they have very high alcohol content, which lowers the freezing point).
And lastly, cooking flour dust is highly flammable, and so you should avoid creating flour dust clouds around any heat sources in your kitchen, and you will want to especially keep open flames (such as candles, gas stove burners, cigarettes, etc.) away from your flour when preparing your baking.