There are currently an estimated 10 million recreational vehicles (RVs) and travel trailers in use throughout the United States and Canada. While many people enjoy the use of these vehicles on camping trips and vacations, most are unaware that a majority of these vehicles are made unreasonably dangerous and defective due to a defect in the design of their stovetop burners.
ARE RV GAS STOVES DANGEROUS?
Yes, since a majority of RVs sold in the U.S. are sold with stoves and cooktops that lack flame failure devices (FFDs). FFDs work to prevent dangerous buildups of propane gas by shutting off its flow if a stove should fail to light, is left on, or the flame is extinguished.
Stoves that do not have FFDs run the risk of leaking huge amounts of propane into a small, mostly airtight RV in a short amount of time, causing life-altering explosions. Gas can begin to leak from playing children, defects in the propane tank, “senior moments,” brushing up against the burner knob, or the flame failure from wind or spilling liquid.
Leaked propane can explode if ignited from:
- Cigarette lighters
- Static electricity
- The stove’s sparker knob
- Electric appliances
Interestingly, FFDs are equipped on many other standard RV appliances such as ovens and water heaters, but are strangely absent from cooktops – despite only costing around $4.00 each. These safety devices have been around for decades and are mandatory on RV cooktops in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association has continued to turn a blind eye to this danger.
PROPANE DETECTORS ARE NOT ENOUGH
Leaks that occur overnight can be particularly dangerous, as even people with a normal, unimpaired sense of smell are oftentimes unable to notice the odor of ethanethiol if exposed to the gas for an extended period of time. The smell of propane odorant itself is oftentimes insufficient to wake a recreational vehicle’s sleeping occupants.
Certain RV manufacturers have chosen to include propane detectors in their vehicles that are capable of alerting passengers to dangerous levels of propane. While this seems useful on the surface, many of these detectors fail to detect the presence of explosive levels of propane, creating a false sense of security. In fact, many explosions occur even with the presence of a functioning detector.
BIRMINGHAM RV EXPLOSION ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one have been injured in an RV or camper explosion, the Birmingham explosion accident attorneys at Glenda Cochran Associates Attorneys at Law can examine the details of your case and pursue fair financial recovery on your behalf. If we are not successful on your behalf, you will not pay us a dime for our services!