I found airplane (US commercial passenger travel) deaths for 1982
the average was 120 deaths per year. NTSB
ALL gas explosion deaths (industrial, residential; NG, propane,
industrial process gases) in the about 150 to 200 per year range in
Residential deaths are a fraction of those......
So residential NG explosion related deaths are NOT "far above the
rate of plane crashes"....they're are below if anything.
NG is a pretty safe source of energy, LP is probably less safe due to
the nature of the systems...having to sometimes make & break
The sensational nature of TV news exaggerates dangers.
Smoke detectors detect the products of combustion - which may be odorless.
As I recall my high school biology, the ear bone is connected to the nose
bone. If being unconscious deactivates the nose bone, the ear bone is
Electric fire happen everyday here in chgo from space heaters,
overloaded circuits, its news but not headlines since it didnt blow
up. Electric fires are common in winter, gas explosions rare but
I've cooked many dinners, both on high end gas stoves and on old POS
cal-rod electric stoves, and all have received rave reviews from my
guests. In other words, gas is not a requirement for good cooking.
First off, you are wrong, secondly the reason most commercial cooking
equipment is gas is for economy due to the large amount of energy use in
a restaurant and the lower cost/BTU for gas, something that isn't a
factor in residential cooking.
You can do some things with an open flame that a hot element won't do. Wok
cooking was invented to conserve fuel by heating over a small group of
coals. You can use a gas flame, but they don't do well with electric
elements. Flat bottomed and electric woks are just a bastardization, not
even a distant cousin of a real hammered carbon steel wok.
If you want to singe pin feathers on poultry, open flame is the way to go.
Mashed potatoes can be made with any heat source.
Actually, you can heat a wok more efficiently with an electric source
than with a gas source. A great deal of the BTUs from a gas wok burner
zip right past the sides of the wok and only heat the kitchen.
A handheld torch like a Bernz-O-Matic TS4000 will singe those feathers
quite nicely as well as brulee your creme brulee and many other culinary
tasks. Yes, it's gas, but a 16oz cylinder isn't going to level your
How does that happen? Take a typical electric element and it is about 6" to
8" in diameter. A wok has a rounded bottom and makes contact at one tiny
point. Where is the efficiency? My one gas burner has a nice hot 3"
diameter flame that heats the base of a wok very well.
Using a wok is one reason I got rid of the electric range shortly after
I didn't say that peak efficiency could be found placing a round bottom
wok on a conventional cal-rod type electric element. A flat bottom wok
would make better contact with a cal-rod type element. A round bottom
wok would of course benefit from a more appropriately shaped cal-rod
element, or better yet, and induction "burner", both of which would
provide more efficient heat transfer/generation than a gas flame.
Flat bottom woks are imitations, part frying pan, not a true wok. I don't
know if cal-rod elements are available shaped to cradle a wok, but the
typical household does not have one. Give the tiny point of contact, would
an induction give enough heat? I think you must be pretty close to the
magnetic field. Woks were invented for open flame cooking and fuel
so? a few incidents reported on the news does carry much weight
I would suggest that you refrain from drawing statistical relevance
from TV news reports. The TV news (well, all TV) exists to sell ad
time. Exciting news makes people watch
The data is a little hard to dig up (CDC / OSHA) but..........
my best efforts put ALL gas explosion deaths (industrial,
residential; NG, propane, industrial process gases) in the about 150
to 200 per year range in the US. Residential are a fraction of
to put it in perspective there about 80 lightning deaths per year in
CO deaths (non-fire, non-explosion) from faulty NG heaters kills
another 28 per year, propane heaters (CO again) a like number.
NG is lighter than air & leaks dissipate, it ain't easy to generate
explosive concentrations (possible but not easy)
Fear not natural gas but poor eating habits, lack of exercise,
smoking, cars, ladders, bodies of water & one's crazy
associates....watch out. Faulty DNA as well......
Don't worry, be happy.
As Ransley mentioned, some old flex lines (uncoated copper, I think)
are problematic but switching to SS or coated lines greatly reduced
that small risk.
I live in an area that had coal gasification used mostly for lighting.
It disappeared for very clear reasons. It was messy and inefficient and
the much better electric lighting became available.
Coal gasification is still not a great process.
i can see it maybe if your moneys tight and its cheeper,,but my
lord ,i remember filling the coal hopper every day on the old stove.what
a damn mess it was.. not to mention cleaning the stove out and the soot
i remember when nat gas came thru in 60 ,it was a god send.lucas
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.