Can Office Chairs Explode? Here’s The Truth

Almost every office chair comes with height adjustments facilities that require a hydraulic or pneumatic mechanism. You might have heard about the chair explosions, which might have been caused by such a mechanism. But, how far is this true, or is it just an assumption. 

An office chair can definitely explode due to some unusual activities by the gas cylinder present in the chair. The main unusual activities include; lack of safety standard chair, a gas cylinder containing risky gas, or putting excessive pressure on the gas cylinder of an office chair.

This article is written to help you understand the reason behind the office chair explosions. I will also be mentioning the factual reasons behind the explosion and how to reduce the chances of such explosions. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let us get started.

What Makes Office Chairs Explode?

There are numerous reasons for an office chair being exploded. However, all the reasons have one single source, which is the gas cylinder. The gas cylinder is usually situated underneath the seat.  

So, What does a gas cylinder do in an Office chair? Well, the gas cylinder is typically situated in the place between the wheelbase and seat, and it helps with the seat height mechanism. The gas cylinder usually contains compressed gas, and this gas helps you to decrease or increase the height of the Chair. 

To be honest, this gas cylinder is the actual source of the office chair explosion. Depending on the quality of the Chair and its gas cylinder, and the way you treat the Chair, the Chair can explode. Most of the time, you will not even experience a single explosion.

Can A Chair’s Compressed Air Explode?

Yes, the Chair’s compressed air stored in the gas cylinder is the main source of any kind of explosion that can occur in an office chair.

Sometimes you will see some low-quality chairs have stored uncertified gas, and sometimes they use regular gas, which is a really dangerous thing to do.

Note that I am saying low-quality office chairs are not cheap because there are lots of inexpensive chairs with good quality components, including the gas cylinder and the compressed gas inside it. 

I highly suggest you buy a good quality office chair and minimize the chances of the chair explosion.

What Are The Chances Of A Chair Exploding?

To be brutally honest, I would say the chances of chair explosion are very minimal. As office chairs are being manufactured mainly by various well-known brands and they will never compromise with the quality. 

A gas cylinder is typically filled with pressurized nitrogen gas, and there is a piston rod that moves up & down depending on the requirement. 

When you put weight on the Chair and pull the lever, the gas cylinder expands, and eventually, the air pressure inside the gas cylinder increases, which makes the Chair move upward, and it does the exact opposite when you remove weight and push the lever. 

Sometimes people tend to have fun using the Chair, and they constantly go up & down using the lever. They love the fact that they can be at different levels at a certain time.

Well, it surely increases the chances of accidents and chair explosions. That the chances sometimes depend on your activities.

Moreover, the blissful technology is also playing a great role as it is helping a lot with the development of the chairs by introducing many innovative features which might someday eliminate the use of the gas cylinder. 

Why Do Office Chairs Explode?

As stated earlier, an office chair can explode for numerous reasons. For instance, when the gas cylinder is filled with unwanted gas or when the gas cylinder is being in constant pressure

Although sometimes it is the manufacturers’ fault, it is the users’ fault most of the time. Nothing to be confused about; let me make it completely clear.     

The Reasons For The Office Chair Explosion Due To Manufacturers Fault:

1. Compressing Dangerous Gas Inside The Gas Cylinder

There are a few manufacturers who claim the office chair to be effective but end up filling the gas cylinder with unwanted gas. There are times when people found out the Chair’s gas cylinder was filled with regular gas.

This is extremely dangerous and can cause an explosion because there is a presence of oxygen in regular air, which can initiate rust. Such rust might cause leaks and result in a massive explosion. 

2. Using Low-Quality Components

Some cheap and low-quality chairs come with lax safety standards, which indicates the quality of the Chair is not up to the mark. You should always pay attention to the safety guidelines before buying the Chair.

I should suggest you do adequate research before the purchase so that you do not regret it afterward. 

Recommended Article: How Does An Office Chair Mechanism Work? (Chair Mechanisms Explained)

The Reasons For The Office Chair Explosion Due To Users’ Fault

1. Putting Continuous Pressure On The Chair

We tend to leave a pile of clothes in the Chair, or sometimes you might end up putting lots of heavy things in the Chair for a long time.

Let me tell you, each of the Chairs comes with a specific weight capacity, and you should not exceed that line. Strictly follow the rules of the chairs, or else you might end up with a damaged chair.

When you put so much pressure on the Chair, the gas cylinder might feel unusual pressure and end up exploding. 

2. Constantly Changing The Chair’s Height

You take it as a fun activity to pull and push the Chair up and down, but this can be problematic. The constant pressure can also cause the Chair to blow up.

Moreover, a study showed that you need to put the pressure distributed evenly, but during the fast movements, you might not be able to control the negative impact that might initiate the pressure in the gas cylinder. 

I would highly restrict you from doing it. When you constantly jump up & down on an office chair using the lever, you will see that the gas cylinder goes through so much pressure that it might cause the explosion.  

3. Regassing The Chair’s Gas Cylinder Inappropriately

Sometimes when you plan to regas the Chair’s gas cylinder, you might not do it perfectly and end up with some leakage. You need to do it properly or seek an expert’s help.

Check out the proper way of regassing the Chair on our another article to know how to regas Office Chairs.

Is Exploding Office Chair Mythbusters? 

As I said earlier, office chairs do explode when you put too much pressure on them. However, you will notice that there were a few incidents where the Chair actually blew up. 

There are a few people who might have told you there is nothing like a chair explosion. Well, there is also another group of people who claim the chair explosion is a very common thing.

Let me tell you both the statements are truly wrong. The chances of such incidents occurring are very low, but such incidents have occurred more than once. 

Then again, new inventions by the manufacturers are immeasurable when it comes to decreasing the chances of such explosions.

For instance, the Pneumatic Actuated Seating System (PASS) development helps the Chair lift up and go down using the spring and damping effects. [Source]

How Often Did An Office Chairs Explode

My research showed three real incidents where there was an office chair explosion.

The first incident occurred in China in 2008 when a 65-year older man was injured when his Chair’s cylinder exploded. You can check youtube this video:

As per his own words, the brust was so fierce that it hit the ceiling. The second incident occurred with a 12-year old boy.

But this incident was so scary that some metal pieces went through the boy’s lower body. [Source]

Then again, another lady was also severely injured by the chair explosion. Fortunately, the doctor was able to remove the part after the surgery. [Source]

However, after proper investigation, it was proved that the fault was not of the gas cylinder or the Chair; the huge amount of pressure experienced by the Chair caused it. 

Does Office Chair Explosion Cause Death?

Although office chair explosions have occurred thrice, the explosion caused the death of a 14-year old boy in one incident.

In the incident, chunks of metal into the rectum caused severe bleeding, which caused the death. 

Can Gaming Chairs Explode?

Gaming chairs do have a gas cylinder for adjusting the height of the Chair. But there was no single incident reported.

However, the manufacturers are now concerned about the users and strictly manufacture the Chair following specific regulations. That is, you do not have to worry about purchasing a gaming chair. 

Are Office Chairs Hydraulic?

A hydraulic Chair is a Chair with a cylinder where a compressed liquid substance is stored, which further helps to initiate the movement. This is used to lift heavy matters; however, the office chairs mostly come with a Pneumatic mechanism.

The Pneumatic chair mechanism uses the same mechanism but to lift the lighter weight, which is why it is used in office chairs.

Final Thoughts:

Well, If you use office chairs from renowned brands the chances of your office chair to explode is zero as they follow the security standards very strictly.

Buying office chairs from renowned brands does not mean you have to spend over 1000 bucks. There are many well known brands who offer office chairs at very competitive prices. You can check out our recommended office chairs by clicking here.

Meraj Jahan

Hey, I am a co-author at Office Chair Trends. Not only have I experience working for extended hours behind the desks at my workstation, but I also have seen people in my surroundings suffer from body aches. Being a reader by day and writer by night, I have researched this matter and gathered knowledge along the way. I am sharing all my experiences on this site.