Forensic Engineering Analysis Of A Propane fueled Residential Gas Explosion


  • David S. Komm



Propane, fires


The Use Of Liquid Petroleum Or Commercial Propane Gas (Hereafter Referred To As Propane) For Residential heating And Cooking Is Common In The Rural United States Where Providing The Infrastructure For natural Gas Distribution Would Be Too Costly. A Typical Installation May Include A 500 Gallon Pressurized vessel Containing A Mixture Of Liquid And Vapor Propane With The Vapor Fed To An Individual Residence through An Underground Line. Safety Features, Such As Odorization Of The Propane, Multi-Regulator Installations, prudent Selection Of Gas Line Components, And System Leak Checks Are Utilized To Prevent And/Or recognize Fugitive Gas Leaks.  in 2005 An Event Occurred In Michigan Which Involved A Flammable Gas Leak, Corrosion, Gas Migration through Soil, A Buildup Of The Flammable Gas, And Subsequent Ignition Resulting In An Explosion which Destroyed A Two Story Home. This Forensic Investigation Eventually Revealed That The Root Cause Of the Incident Lay In Actions Taken During The Original Construction. Some 16 Years After The Installation Of the Subject Gas System Circumstances Came Together To Create An Explosion.



How to Cite

Komm, David S. 2011. “Forensic Engineering Analysis Of A Propane fueled Residential Gas Explosion”. Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers 28 (1).