The propane explosion which killed Edgar Brummett of White County, Georgia was entirely preventable. According to published reports, the Georgia Propane Explosion was caused by a propane leak at a home in the Mt. Yonah Scenic Estates. A day prior to the explosion, the homeowner called the local propane gas supplier to report a leak, and also to report unusual propane usage over a short period of time…..strong evidence of a leak in the propane gas system. The propane company ignored, or, according to published reports, “disputed” the homeowners call about a leaking propane gas system and possible propane gas leak.
For decades, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has known about the dangers of gas leaks and the need to properly and thoroughly inspect a propane gas system when a customer reports a leak, gas service is initiated, or there is a change in tenancy at the property. As noted in the document below, in 1985, the NPGA developed and implemented its “GAS Check” program. The GAS Check program was an industry wide effort to reduce (or, eliminate) residential propane accidents. This was done with consumer and dealer education, and detailed propane dealer training. The Gas Check Program works to prevent propane explosions by provider rules and guidelines for:
- Leak checking a customer’s entire propane system
- inspecting an LP gas tank, piping, regulator, gauges, connectors, valves, vents, thermostats, pilots, burners, and appliance controls.
- Informing the customer of worn or damaged equipment (and red tagging a propane system when such equipment is found)
- Familiarizing customers with the odor of propane and the limitations of the propane odorant, ethyl mercaptain, which may diminish or “fade.”
Generally, on an “out of gas” call, a GAS Check system inspection should be performed. It would have prevented the death of Emmett Brummett.