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Transport of flammable gas cylinders

Safety Alert
1 August 2012

A person received serious burn injuries when an LPG barbeque cylinder, kept in a car boot on a hot day (34°C) for about one hour, released gas which was subsequently ignited when the boot door was opened and the boot light came on.

Possible causes

  • a leak of flammable gas in a poorly ventilated area and the presence of an ignition source
  • the cylinder valve may not have been closed securely prior to transporting the cylinder in the boot
  • overfilling, which did not leave enough vapour space at the top of the cylinder to allow for normal thermal expansion of the liquid
  • the cylinder was lying on its side resulting in LPG escaping through the valve in its liquid state - when the liquid evaporates, it quickly expands to approximately 270 times in volume
  • a faulty cylinder.

Action required

  • cylinders must be in good condition prior to being transported
  • cylinders must be secured in an upright position during transport to prevent movement and ensure that the safety relief device is in direct contact with the vapour space
  • do not store cylinders in a vehicle
  • unload cylinders without delay after arrival at your destination
  • discharge any personal static build-up by touching a grounded (earthed) metal object, such as the body of the car, with your bare hands immediately before handling the LPG cylinders
  • do not smoke or have any naked flames present while handling or transporting cylinders.