A few days ago, something happened whilst I was cooking, something that inspired me to write this blog post. I was messing around with a pan of hot oil when I wisely put some cold water inside the pan to "dilute" the oil. There, the pan basically blew up. Luckily I was wearing enough clothes not to burn myself.
Photo credit (with true explosion story inside) by Kaleb Fulgham
This accident has made me think: how many things which potentially can blow up do we have at home? According to the last Office for National Statistics data, only (luckily) 6 persons died of an explosion throughout the UK. But how many times do we risk our life because of a silly, predictable explosion?
I did a mini-tour of my house to write down the most popular and potentially explosive stuff.
I don't think my laptop will ever blow up, but what about the boiler/heater? It's unlikely, I know, but it could happen. Same story for the hot water boiler, which is not so common in the English-speaking countries, but it's still quite popular inside Italians houses. Someone has suggested also the cathode ray tube TV, but I'm not so sure about it - probably because there are not many of them still around nowadays.
The most likely cause of every potential home explosion is the classic short circuit, which did a lot of damages across the history of electricity. Special mention for the caffettiera, the typical Italian coffee pot: the effects of its last explosion in 2009 still keep our memories alive with the stains left on the ceiling.
Food and beverage
The kitchen is, I guess, the most explosive room in the house. You just need to open the fridge to find out the protagonists of the greatest and most popular Youtube video ever: the Coke, which along with and Mentos, which together are able to create amazing choreographic blasts.
You can also find much more inside your fridge: do you know those air-tight storage which keeps food leftovers fresh? Forget one of them in the fridge for a while, then open it. Actually, don't!I had the pleasure of even seeing a youghurt blow up. Not a very nice experience.
Moreover, some veggies could explode too: from pumpkins to potatoes, especially if they reach very high or low temperatures. How could I forget the yummy baked sausages exploding when you forget to prick them before they go inside the oven? Has it happened to anyone else?
Finally, honourable mention for a real outsider: flour. My sister, who is quite a skilled chemist, told me that flour belongs to the "fine powder" family which can easily blow up. I didn't ask for more details as I didn't want to develop an irrational fear of this special baking component.
One of the things that you definitely learn during your first teenage parties: if you put a bottle of beer inside the freezer you mustn't forget about it. If by chance, you do forget it, then you're going to remember it for ever. Glass is one of the most underdog and underrated explosives ever; it can't stand extreme temperatures. Put a cold liquid into a hot glass or viceversa and you'll come to the same conclusion: a dangerous and... sharp explosion.
Last but not least, I could not help mention gas, in all its forms: from the one on your stove to the hair spray, including hydrogen peroxide. Watch high temperatures (as you do with glass) and heat sources: a gas or soda beverage explosion is like a De Beer diamond: meant to be forever, i.e. you could be gone forever..
If any other common potentially explosive object comes to your mind, do write me a comment below: I know that the list is quite long and am curious to see which ones I've missed out.