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Can Office Chairs Explode? 3 Handy Tips To Protect Yourself

Can Office Chairs Explode? 3 Handy Tips To Protect Yourself

Whenever you sit in your office chair, do you ever wonder if it’ll suddenly explode?

Is there even a chance that could happen?

The thought is really terrifying.

If you read about it, you’ll find stories of office chairs exploding. However, you’ll also read others saying that it DOESN’T explode.

If you’re confused, we’re here to clear it all for you.

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about it.

In this article, we’ll show you:

  • If office chairs can explode (and how it can happen).
  • The 3 office chair explosions.
  • Why you shouldn’t worry.
  • How to be sure of your safety (in case you can’t get it out of your mind).

Are you ready? Let’s get straight to it!

Can Office Chairs Explode? Explaining How It’s Possible

No. At least, it’s not likely to.

The chances of office chairs exploding are one in a trillion.

In fact, in all the history of office chairs, there are only 3 instances this has happened.

You might be thinking, “How do office chairs even explode?”

To understand that, you first have to understand how the office chair cylinder works.

The mechanism that allows your chair to rise and sink has a chamber full of pressurized gas.

Two factors cause this gas pressure.

The first one is that the chamber is sealed shut. Also, there’s a movable gas spring that takes up a lot of the volume inside the chamber.

office chair gas spring

Now, if you lift the height adjustment lever, that unlocks the gas spring. The pressurized gas is then able to push the spring upward, lifting your chair.

If you want to read more about how office chair cylinders work, click here.

Because there’s so much pressure (about 1,500 to 2,500 PSI), the lifting gas spring is very powerful.

Powerful enough to go through the chair’s seat and your rear!

Luckily, there are a lot of things preventing that from happening.

For one, the gas spring is held by a strong piston, so it doesn’t go flying uncontrollably. Not only that, but there are also tight seals that allow the gas spring only a certain height.

Now, for an office chair to explode, a lot of things have to go wrong all at the same time.

The office chair has to be at its lowest (this is when the pressure is highest), the piston has to be loose, and all the seals are broken.

Another reason it can explode is if pressurized air is used instead of pressurized gas. (check the reason below)

So you see…

…it takes a lot for an office chair to explode.

3 Office Chair Explosion Cases

a black broken office chair

The 3 office chair explosions are rather gruesome.

If you’re a sensitive person, just skip these stories.

These incidents happened in China within different years.

The first one was in 2008 when a 65-year-old was badly injured when his office chair cylinder exploded.

He said the cylinder burst out with so much force it hit the ceiling.

Then, in 2009, another chair explosion happened in Shandong province in China.

Unfortunately, the 14-year-old was not able to survive as chunks of metal went through his lower body.

He was rushed to the hospital, but he had already lost too much blood.

The 3rd case happened in 2013.

A lady from Fujian, China had pieces of steel, screws, and other fragments pierced through her body. Thankfully, the doctors were able to remove everything with a successful surgery.

In all 3 cases, investigators found that the cause was NOT faulty office chair cylinders…

The cause was that the manufacturers used pressurized air instead of gas. They comprised the chair’s quality to make the cost cheaper.

If you’re sitting in your office chair right now, you’re probably really scared.

Again, it’s not something to worry about.

Of course, these cases were very unfortunate. However, you’re more likely to get injured by an ant than an office chair explosion.

Manufacturer Safety Measures

How can we say with confidence that you don’t need to worry about it?

Well, after the 3rd incident, a strict rule in regulating office chair cylinders was put up.

This was to protect the safety of all users.

The rule stated, before a manufacturer can put out any office chair, it has to go through rigorous tests.

These tests make sure there are zero risks of any more explosion happenings.

The chair and cylinder need to be of top-quality before being released.

So now, if any chair gas cylinder does explode, it happens in the lab under secure protection.

The office chair you’re sitting on now has probably gone through these tests as well.

How to Increase Your Safety

Once you start thinking about it, it’s hard to let go of the worry. Even if we’ve said so many times not to be.

What if you don’t trust the manufacturing tests and all that……

Good news!

There are tips you can follow to finally give you peace of mind.

If you follow these tips, then your office chair is sure to stay intact.

1. The first tip is to buy a good office chair brand.

Herman Miller Aeron

The well-known office chair brands take safety rules and regulations very seriously.

They won’t compromise safety for anything else.

Not only that, but these well-known brands also offer better ergonomics.

2. Another tip is to follow your office chair’s instructions.

To remove the tiniest chance of explosion, observe its recommended weight capacity.

And, in case you’re tempted to stand on your office chair, DON’T.

It’s not so much about the risk of explosion even, but the risk of other injuries.

If you use your office chair as you should, nothing unusual will happen.

3. Finally, if your cylinder is faulty, replace it.

A man fixes an office chair cylinder

Still, that hardly means it’s going to explode. Oh well, whatever makes you feel safer.

It does mean, though, that your office chair will keep sinking, which is a bigger worry than it explodes.

To learn how to replace office chair cylinders, click here.


The bottom line is this: you. don’t. need. to. stress. over. office. chair. explosions.

That will just waste your time and energy. And, give you more stress, which you don’t need in your life.

We’ll say it right now…


AnduinX BYM

Sunday 30th of January 2022

There are 7.753 billion people on the planet, and office chairs have exploded three times according to this article. So, how can the chances of an office chair explosion possibly be one in a trillion, especially given the fact that many of those 7.753 billion people do not have access to office chairs, or do not own office chairs?

Dare Devil

Thursday 22nd of December 2022

@AnduinX BYM, maybe the average person sits on their office chair more than once in their life, so that: the total amount of times someone sat on an office chair / the amount of office chair explosions is 1 in a trillion