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.
A majority of RVs sold in the United States are sold with stoves and cooktops
that lack flame failure devices (FFDs). FFDs work to prevent against dangerous
buildups of propane gas by shutting off its flow in the event that 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
schedule a free consultation today to get started towards filing a claim.