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Bottle Gas Safety

Dr Terry Ritter of Calor examines some of the safety issues concerning LPG cylinder use.

Bottle Gas SafetyCalor is the UK’s leading supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Their blue and red gas cylinders are a familiar sight on camping and caravan sites around the country and hundreds of thousands of caravanners and campers rely on Calor for a safe and secure form of energy for their appliances. Since the company was established in 1935, Calor has invested continually in the development of new products and safety initiatives to benefit customers.

Calor provide the widest range of cylinder sizes in the UK, the vast majority of which are freely interchangeable with each other. They are designed and manufactured to British or European Standards and being constructed of high quality steel with a corrosion protective coating they last for decades. They are subject to a rigorous maintenance and inspection regime at Calor’s nationwide network of refilling plants before they are distributed amongst their 10,000 retailers.

LPG – either butane or propane – is a colourless liquid stored in a pressurised cylinder to keep it liquefied. When vaporised and mixed with the right amount of air, it burns with a blue flame and emits only carbon dioxide and water vapour. Stored and used correctly, LPG cylinders offer an extremely safe and efficient source of energy. Here is some common sense advice to ensure that you continue to use your LPG appliances efficiently and safely for many years.

Leakage
Most likely to occur at connection points such as the regulator, valve or hose. Check equipment regularly for signs of damage, wear or deterioration, and to identify any missing items. If you suspect a leak:

  • Open all doors and windows.
  • Do not use a naked flame.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not turn electrical equipment on or off.
  • Attempt to stop the leak by closing the valve and replacing the bung or cap.
  • If the leak cannot be stopped and it is safe to do so, the cylinder should be carefully removed to a well ventilated open space, clear of drains, buildings, sources of ignition and other LPG cylinders.
  • Cylinders should, if possible, be marked ‘faulty’ and left with the leak (usually at the valve) uppermost.
  • Contact your local supplier to arrange collection of the cylinder.
  • Do not attempt to dismantle or repair the defective cylinder valve.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)
CO is an invisible gas which you cannot smell, taste or see. Accidents which have occurred as a result of CO poisoning or asphyxiation are caused by a combination of circumstances, including inadequate ventilation, unsatisfactory flueing, poor appliance performance, user interference or lack of routine maintenance.

If you think your LPG appliance is producing CO, switch it off, open all windows and doors and leave the room to ventilate before getting it checked by a CORGI registered installer. If you are feeling unwell, seek medical advice immediately.

Regulators
Until 2003, butane and touring caravans and motor regulators – butane to 37mbar. From September and motor home manufacturers mbar bulkhead mounted BSEN12864) in accordance the new European installation which apply across Europe, touring more simple.

Storage
When on the road or in storage, cylinders should be kept in an upright position with the valves uppermost.

Regular Servicing
All LPG appliances must be serviced regularly to keep them in a safe and efficient condition. Servicing must only be carried out by a gas installer who is CORGI registered and carries an I.D. card covering their competence. Always ask for a Gas Safety Inspection Record form to be provided for the work carried out.

please note: * = Caravans manufactured before September 2003 are not able to have a new regulator fitted as the gas pressures of the new regulator and your existing installation are not compatible.

Bottle Gas SafetyFor further information about LPG cylinders available from Calor, or a fact sheet, please visit:

www.caravanning-online.co.uk or call 0800 626 626.

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