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Bottling up a bigger problem

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Bottling up a bigger problem

Travellers are being warned to check their gas cylinders and beaware of correct procedures for their use, following a recent van fire.

Campers, caravanners and four-wheel-drivers are being reminded of the dangers of incorrectly using a common cooking appliance.

A recent explosion caused by a faulty gas appliance has prompted the state’s resources regulator to issue the warning.

A Mount Tamborine man suffered burns to 25 per cent of his body after a portable gas appliance erupted in the back of his van. The man, in his 40s, did not realise it was leaking gas.

Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) inspector Paul Beaumont says the victim was lucky to be alive.

“You might think this wouldn’t happen to you, but when people go camping and there’s wet weather, they often end up using their barbecue and gas appliances in the back of their vehicles and that’s just a recipe for disaster,” he says.

RSHQ is urging everyone to ensure they use portable gas appliances in well-ventilated outdoor areas and that cylinders are secure and connected correctly.

Mr Beaumont says that if anyone is unsure whether they have a gas leak, they can mix dishwashing soap with water in a spray bottle and spray the solution onto the connection.

“If it bubbles, you’re in trouble, because that indicates you’ve got a gas leak,” he says. “The best thing to do, then, is turn off the gas and tighten the connection. If it still leaks, contact a gas fitter to check the connections.”

RSHQ also recommends checking that gas cylinders are in good condition, and that the hoses haven’t frayed.

“Hoses dry out and become brittle over time which can lead to cracks, and gas leaks,” Mr Beaumont says.

“You can also now get LP gas cylinders with new valves which have an in-built safety function that won’t allow the gas to flow unless the connection has been properly made.

“It’s a small cost that can save you a lot of heartache and prevent injury.”

For more information, visit qld.gov.au and search for ‘gas safety’.

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