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A few things faze me. But last summer, as I listened to a heated argument between my pals on office chairs exploding, I was shaken.
My first impulse was to stand up and pretend I was getting a coffee refill. I couldn’t imagine my chair rocketing me to the ceiling.
So, can office chairs explode?
Office chairs can explode if mishandled or when one ignores repairs. However, the chances of a chair exploding are minimal, with only three reported cases. That said, you stop an office chair from exploding by buying quality chairs, maintaining the gas cylinder, and using the chair properly.
Table of Contents
Can Office Chairs Explode?
It’s unlikely for your office to explode.
Production standards are stringent in most parts of the world. With chairs undergoing careful construction, your seat exploding is almost though not an impossibility.
What Are the Chances of a Chair Exploding?
There are only three recorded incidents of an exploding gas chair.
In the first, a 65-year-old man severely got his back and arms wounded by an exploding chair in 2008. A year later, a 14-year old boy lost his life as his chair exploded.
The last case was in 2013, where a 24-year-old woman had pieces of metal and fabric embedded in her posterior as her chair exploded.
And even these cases might be due to ignorance. Some companies tried replacing nitrogen with pressurized air to lower production expenses.
Compared to the billions of office chairs available, three cases make chair explosion chances extremely minimal.
What Causes an Office Chair to Explode?
The most common cause for an explosion is improper maintenance. The gas cylinders in office chairs have a limited life span.
These cylinders fail to function due to several reasons, as highlighted below.
Improper Gas Cylinder Installation and Removal
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on installing the gas cylinder to the base of your chair. Ensure no air gap is present between the seat cushion and the bottom plate.
Also, ensure that the gas cylinder does not touch any other part of the chair frame.
Do not over-tighten the screws holding the gas cylinder onto the chair’s base. Doing this may damage them. Use proper tools such as screwdrivers instead of pliers.
What’s more, never force the gas cylinder out of its hole; instead, loosen the bolts first before pulling the cylinder out.
When replacing parts like springs, do so carefully. It is also essential to check whether you installed the replacement springs correctly.
For example, different manufacturers may provide different angles to install chair springs. It may seem negligible, but this makes a difference.
A hot gas cylinder expands more than a cold gas cylinder. Therefore, if the temperature rises too high, the pressure inside the cylinder increases, which may lead to an explosion. To avoid overheating, ensure there is proper ventilation in your office.
In addition, keep the chair away from heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces, and under the sun. Not only does keeping your chair under the sun increase explosion risk, but it also damages upholstery.
Faulty Gas Supply System
Some companies sell defective gas cylinders. These cylinders leak gas continuously even though they appear normal. Gas leakage occurs due to faulty connections. Hence you have to ensure that your gas cylinder’s joints are adequately tight.
A simple way to determine whether your gas cylinder is leaking is by checking how it performs. Is your office chair sinking? A faulty gas lift system may be the reason.
In short, ensure you get your gas cylinders from a trusted dealer.
How Do You Stop an Office Chair from Exploding?
Proper handling, maintenance, and sourcing of your chairs from credible sellers minimize the risk that your chair may explode.
Below are four ways to prevent an office chair explosion.
Replacing a Faulty Gas Cylinder
If you have replaced a gas spring before, there should be no problem provided you follow the instructions on how to do so correctly.
You may want to check if the manufacturer has any guidelines about what kind of gas cylinders to use.
It would be best if you get your cylinders from a company that specializes in making office furniture. This way, you know exactly where to go to buy the right type of springs.
If you need help fixing your office chair, here are some tips to avoid having an explosion:
First off, always read the manual first. Make sure you understand all the safety precautions involved.
Then, ask yourself whether you really need to repair the chair. Is it just cosmetic damage? Or does it also affect its functionality?
If it seems like much trouble, get someone to help. But if you feel confident to handle the job alone, proceed.
If you decide to take apart the chair, remember that you’ll probably need tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches.
Be careful while working around electrical components. Also, wear protective clothing and gloves.
Lastly, never work under pressure. Avoid panicking and keep calm. Do everything slowly but carefully.
Not Messing With the Gas Spring
Another reason why office chairs might blow up is due to tampering with the gas spring. Most manufacturers recommend against doing this unless you know your way around excellently.
They say that even though you think you fixed something, you could make things worse. So don’t try to fix the chair’s mechanism without consulting someone who knows more about office chairs.
Moreover, examine your chair frequently. Regular inspections help identify potential problems early. Inspect the chair every six months. Check for wear and tear signs, including cracks, stains, and rips.
Once done, replace worn parts promptly.
Using Your Chair Properly
It’s unlikely for you to jump on your chair. But what if you work from home and have children visiting your home office all the time?
Kids tend to play rough, especially when they see their parents sitting down at the computer. In fact, some children hurt themselves intentionally while playing with furniture.
Let your child know that office chairs aren’t a place to perfect their newly learned PE tricks.
Additionally, it would help if you kept your home office locked when not around. Children can be adorable, but there is no telling what can transpire when you aren’t watching, right?
Getting Your Chair from a Reputable Supplier
There are many consideration factors when replacing your old office chairs. But even when you get a chair you like, you should determine whether it’s coming from a reputable source.
What are previous customers saying about the chairs and their manufacturer?
Getting a high-quality chair can prevent your chair from exploding. When everything is put in place properly, you not only get to enjoy the chair for a long time but also don’t have to replace something now and then.
A durable and excellently designed office chair means you’ll do minimal repairs. And this means you’ll handle the gas lift mechanism on rare occasions. This way, everything stays securely in place, reducing the chances that you could mess with your cylinder and cause an explosion.
So, if you’re looking for a reliable brand name, look into buying through a reputable dealer. These dealers usually offer great deals. Plus, reputable sellers provide excellent warranties.
Lastly, ensure you pick a chair that meets your needs. For example, different office chairs have diverse weight capacities. Some of them accommodate heavier people than others.
While the standard chair has around a 250-pound rating, some hold up to 800 pounds. Therefore, it’s essential to get a chair that you won’t put too much pressure on, than it can handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Office Chairs Kill You?
It’s almost impossible that an office chair can kill you. Only one person died due to injuries sustained in a gas chair explosion, based on reported cases. Nevertheless, that should not make you mishandle your chairs. There isn’t a surety that your chair cannot explode.
Are Chair Gas Lifts Dangerous?
Most chair gas lifts are not dangerous because there are strict laws regulating production practices. However, they may still explode if you misuse your chair or improperly maintain it.
Also, shop your chairs from a trusted source to get durable and safe-to-use office furniture.
Are Office Chairs Bad?
Office chairs are not bad, provided they meet all safety standards. In fact, an ergonomic office chair with an extensive range of movement allows you to sit comfortably when handling different tasks.
Go for office chairs that craft from quality materials such as steel, which makes them sturdy enough to last longer.
Should I Get a New Office Chair?
If you want to add to your office furniture number or replacing a severely damaged unit, consider getting a new office chair.
On the other hand, a faulty gas cylinder should not make you go shopping for replacements. Instead, invest in a good maintenance plan.
Can office chairs explode, therefore? While explosion chances are super low, their likelihood stems from improper use or maintenance.
It’s important to follow instructions provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, you must learn how to operate the chair correctly before using it.
However, if your chair is uncomfortable and severely damaged, consider getting a new chair.
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