New gas water heaters are safer than the older types.
by stewart wrozier
The 40 and 50 gal gas water heaters mfg after 2003 are FVIR water heaters. Flame Vapor Ignition Resistant water heaters will protect you from any combustible vapors around the water heater that could catch fire. They work the same heating your water but the air intake is different and requires preventive maintenance. Keeping the air intake screen or flame arrestor clean is the only thing, but very important.