Can Office Chairs Explode? Mind-Blowing Facts

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When famous YouTuber PewDiePie mentioned ‘exploding chairs’, the topic skyrocketed on Google Trends in a matter of hours. Many people started asking: Are office chairs dangerous? Will an office chair explode? Can gaming chairs explode? Imagine if you’re sitting in an office chair, working productively and suddenly:

BOOM! Your office chair explodes for no reason.

Can office chairs explode? An office chair can explode, however, the risk of having an office chair explode is very low. Currently, there are only three cases reported in China compared to the billions of office chairs used around the world. Because of strict regulations in manufacturing, it is highly unlikely that an office chair explosion will happen to you.

With that being said, we want to help clear up the fear and confusion surrounding this interesting issue. Let’s take a look at the facts while discussing some of the things you can do to ensure maximum safety, whether you're a professional gamer or an aspiring entrepreneur at the office.  

The Story of How a Chinese Office Chair Explodes

The first incident (2013) is when a Chinese woman was badly injured because of an exploding computer chair. Her brother reported that she was sitting in the chair drying her hair when suddenly, the chair exploded. Thankfully, surgeons were able to save her by removing fragments of plastic and screws from her flesh.

Image taken from chinadaily.com.cn

Another story worth mentioning is about a 14-year old boy from Shandong province in China, who was killed when his office chair exploded in the year 2009. When his chair exploded, it sent chunks of metal into his lower body.  The alleged explosion came from the gas cylinder. Bleeding is the main cause of death.

The last story recorded happened in 2008. It was reported that a 65-year old man was badly injured in the arms and back when a 150mm steel rod ejected out of an exploding chair. The ejection happened with a tremendous amount of force that the steel rod hit the ceiling. It wasn’t a pleasant sight to see.

While all three stories sound very gruesome, you should not be worried when shopping for an office chair. Thankfully, most office chair manufacturers employ strict standards to ensure your safety and comfort, especially if you buy one from a reputable supplier. After all, there’s a reason why certain ergonomic office chairs cost more than some.

How Can an Office Chair Explode?

The main culprit that may cause an office chair explosion is the gas cylinder, located in the base of the chair. This mechanism allows the user to adjust the seat up or down. Based on science, when the canister gets compressed, it can create enough energy to trigger an explosion. Check out this interesting office chair explosion experiment video:

An industry insider from a large Chinese media company said that there are three types of air-pressurized office chairs in the market. These three are: hydraulic-pressured, gas-pressured, and mechanical. You can easily check this by verifying if there is a gas cylinder or not. Most office chairs today are gas-pressured.

According to this secret insider, some manufacturers in China tried to lower the manufacturing costs by filling the gas cylinders with pressurized air. This method may be the source of the three explosion cases that happened in China. With that said, it’s very important to make sure that an office chair manufacturer doesn’t take shortcuts in production.

How Can You Avoid Office Chair Explosions?

Fortunately, US, Canada, Australia, and the EU have strict safety standards for gas cylinders. These standards can be very rigorous. Your risk is not zero, they can explode, but that is usually only under very abusive conditions. Assuming that you follow the instructions on the chair, your safety is almost always guaranteed.

Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to invest in the best ergonomic office chair. Throughout our website, we are always trying to educate our readers of the importance of having a reliable office chair. Think of it as an investment. Not only is it beneficial for your safety, but it’s important for your wellness as well. When your health is absent, wealth becomes meaningless.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the precautions to ensure office chair safety:

  1. Buy an office chair from a reputable manufacturer. All of the accidents that happened are results of certain companies trying to maximize profit by taking shortcuts in production. Luckily, there are excellent manufacturers that have been around for over a century that employ strict manufacturing standards.
  2. Replace your gas cylinder if it’s faulty. Understanding how to replace office chair gas cylinders is very important to ensure your chair’s longevity. If it’s not working properly anymore, be sure to replace them with new ones. You can  read our simple office chair cylinder guide to help you take care of them.
  3.  Use your office chair accordingly. While we understand that you won’t go out of your way to do dangerous stunts with your chair, it’s always good to remember that an office chair is used for sitting. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to make sure that you’re doing the right things with your chair.

So, can an office chair kill you? Yes, they can. But so can a lot of things. A hippo can kill you, lightning can kill you, even drinking coffee can kill you. With that said, the chances of being killed by an office chair or a hydraulic chair is very close to zero, under the conditions that you buy a certified and high-quality office chair.

Bottom Line

And there you have it, a simple post answering ‘can office chairs explode’. We hope that you don't have anymore second guesses about are office chairs dangerous. As long as you do your due diligence when shopping for office chairs, you should be safe. Have a nice day at the office! 🙂