I have watched a property tour around an apartment in the Steinway Tower (NY) on YouTube and I noticed one detail that bugs me, namely gas stoves.

In Poland it is very uncommon for new blocks of flats to have gas installation, because safety law requires all pipes to be visible and accessible (they cannot even be obscured). Also if a building has more then X floors (I don't remember how many) it is strictly forbidden to construct gas installations.

I am curious how it is done and what steps are taken to provide fire hazard safety in tall buildings and how does US law regulate such designs?

  • $\begingroup$ Buddy this is America we barely have a functioning government. Building utilities (electric, plumbing, fire suppression, etc) each have their own industry codes to ensure safety and are subject to regular inspection. Gas is probably inspected the same. $\endgroup$
    – jko
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ In the US, electric stoves are usually considered inferior / cheap / undesirable, in terms of real estate value. So that pretty much settles the question. Money is spent in large buildings on fire-proofing and fire suppression, like automatic sprinklers, sometimes barriers to keep fires from spreading to adjacent apartments. $\endgroup$
    – Pete W
    Commented Jan 7, 2021 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


Gas is odorized ( mercaptans ) which can be detected at a ppb level. The great majority of people notice the smell and take some corrective action. On the otherhand ,whenever you make something fool proof , a bigger fool comes along ; so there are occasional fires caused by gas leaks. Driving a car is a higher risk that having gas in a home or apartment although I have never seen a specific comparison.

  • $\begingroup$ Natural gas deaths per year in the home are almost non-existent in the US. Gas pipeline deaths are 10-25 per year, primarily explosions. Driving a car in comparison is thousands of percent more hazardous. $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 2:57

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