Gas valve.

Gas Leak-Related Explosion Rocks New Jersey Neighborhood

Ten of New York’s bravest were injured in Paterson, New Jersey last week, as they were investigating a gas leak and evacuating residents from their homes. The hissing sound heard and reported by these homeowners proved to be no false alarm: minutes after the FDNY arrived on the scene, a tremendously forceful and ear-splitting explosion leveled two residential homes and damaged a third to such an extent that it later had to be razed. The FDNY, though, had answered the call promptly and had already been able to clear the homes of all residents before the blast occurred, saving lives.

Per Fire Chief Michael Postorino, the 3 destroyed residential units housed 15 people, all of whom were unharmed, but are now exiled from their homes. Upwards of 20 other neighbors have been displaced. Their homes, located in the blast radius, suffered broken front windows and exterior damage caused by projectile wood and glass: shrapnel from the explosion.

The firefighters involved were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries and potential damage to their hearing faculties. All are expected to make full recoveries.

The residents of these now-ruined homes are being lauded for their alertness and quick-thinking. Having smelled gas and having heard the related ominous hiss, they phoned the proper authorities and were primed to flee the scene. This display of intuition and instinct saved, potentially, dozens of lives.

Public Service Electric & Gas, the local proprietor of utilities, have since shut-down gas and electric service to the area, and are dedicating resources to uncovering the cause of the catastrophe. According to the company, routine inspections of the area hadn’t turned up anything suspicious, and no prior reports had raised any cause for concern in the preceding months.

Thus far, no foul play is suspected.

All in all, things could have been a lot worse. The moment of detonation is deadly, of course, but there are many auxillary dangers inherent to gas explosions. Residents may be trapped under the ensuing wreckage, hit by falling debris, burned in resultant fires or subject to harmful smoke and fumes. Ten minor injuries, while unpleasant and unfortunate, may have been a best-case-scenario considering the circumstances.

Better still? Preventing explosions entirely. Every year, approximately 10 people die and hundreds more are injured as a result of gas-related incidents. Read on to find out what you can do to protect your family by decreasing the likelihood of gas-related incidents of all kinds.

How to Prevent a Gas Leak

The best method of protection is prevention. Below are some ways you can help reduce the likelihood of a gas leak in your home, and help prevent injuries in case a gas leak does occur.

  • Have your appliances installed by accredited professionals, who know how to properly secure all gas lines and double-check for any faulty mechanisms that might lead to leaks down the line.
  • Schedule regular maintenance of these appliances. Sometimes, a future problem might be brewing without your being able to notice. A licensed engineer or repair-person will be able to detect and remedy these potential problems.
  • Always keep a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home. If you have more than one cooking area, you should have alarms corresponding to each zone. Make sure you regularly refresh the batteries on all of these alarms!

How to Detect a Gas Leak

Remember, if there is a gas leak, you may not be able to detect an abnormal smell, and so relying on this faculty is, usually, not enough. Here are some other signs a gas leak may be taking place in your home:

  • If you experience a headache, stomachache, memory loss, difficulty breathing or are feeling otherwise nauseous, fatigued, dizzy, or light-headed, there may be a gas leak in your home.
  • If the flame on your gas-powered appliance is reddish, orange or yellow as opposed to a crisp blue.
  • If you hear an unusual hissing or blowing sound.

As the story above proves, staying alert and being quick-to-action can help save lives. If you have even the slightest suspicion that there is a gas leak in your home, evacuate immediately and then call the proper authorities.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

Have you or a loved one been injured in a gas-related incident? The compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers at Kaplan Lawyers PC are here to help you through your time of need. As you focus on recovery, we’ll get to work building the foundations of a rock-solid case. We can help you win the compensation you deserve; compensation that will allay the cost of expensive medical bills and help provide for your family throughout the entirety of your recuperation process. Not sure where you stand? Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today. Our consultations are an easy -and always free- way to get started.