Natural gas is used throughout North America as an energy source for heating and industrial process applications. When leaks occur from the supply system or from appliances within an enclosed space, explosive mixtures can result, creating a significant hazard to occupants and capital investment, as well as to gas company and emergency response personnel who might be called to investigate the reason for the leak. In research aimed toward development of safer operational procedures for dealing with a build up of natural gas in a residence, a series of experiments were conducted in which isolated houses were filled with natural gas, vented and ultimately exploded to study the effects of the explosion on the structures and their contents.

This multi-agency research effort included:

  1. Investigation of migration of natural gas in dwellings,
  2. Evaluation of the effectiveness of ventilation in mitigating a build up of natural gas in a dwelling,
  3. Evaluation of the survivability of arson, fraud, forensic and homicide evidence in the event of an explosion, and
  4. Study of the dynamics of natural gas explosions in dwellings.

Publications

Gas explosions