Connecting gas cylinder to cabinet heater results in flames

Energy type: 
LPG
 
Event summary: 
The occupants of a permanently parked campervan were attempting to connect a ‘new’ gas cylinder to a cabinet heater inside the campervan when it burst into flames. The victim carried the burning equipment out onto the deck attached to the van, burning his left arm in the process. He then drove himself to the nearby hospital. The LPG cylinder was written off after the fire.
 
Accident ID: 
161231-02
 
Accident date: 
27 December 2016
 
Site: 
Public
 
Environment: 
Caravan/mobile home
 
Voltage: 
1
 
Equipment: 
Space heater cabinet heater; cylinder (LPG)
 
Accident type: 
Fire and explosion
 
Casualty: 
Non-fatality
 
Injury: 
Burn
 
Property damage level: 
Restricted to the direct vicinity of the equipment
 
Outcome of investigation: 

The cylinder had a POL valve and the cabinet heater a POL regulator. The connection between the two, as found after the incident, was loose. The alloy hand wheel to tighten the connection had softened in the heat of the fire and had been pushed away from the regulator/valve connection supporting the probable cause of a loose connection as being the source of the leak. It is noted that cabinet heaters should not be used in campervans or other confined spaces such as bedrooms.