Caravans destroyed.

Feb 25, 2017
266
0
0
Visit site
Last week a caravan caught fire, and the fire spread to two adjacent vans on the Sandford Caravan Park Dorset. Apparently it was caused by a gas leak and subsequent explosion. We are seriously thinking of turning off the gas at the bottle, every time we are away from the caravan in future. May be a bit of overkill, but better safe than sorry.
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/16247710.Caravans_gutted_by_fire_after_gas_cylinder_explodes/
 
Sep 4, 2017
592
53
10,935
Visit site
You can have a solenoid fitted on the LP side of the bottle with a switch / button in the van to make the task easier. You could go one step further and have a methane / propane gas sensor fitted that has an alarm output contact and include that in the circuit so that if a gas leak is detected it will automatically switch the solenoid off. This is on my list of things to do.
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,552
6,342
50,935
Visit site
Grey13 said:
You can have a solenoid fitted on the LP side of the bottle with a switch / button in the van to make the task easier. You could go one step further and have a methane / propane gas sensor fitted that has an alarm output contact and include that in the circuit so that if a gas leak is detected it will automatically switch the solenoid off. This is on my list of things to do.

Your list of changes is quite something and your caravan will be a good acquisition when you eventually sell it. Will it come with the Grey13 User Manual otherwise someone could spend many hours on this Forum asking us who know nothing of your systems how it works. And RTM will mean nothing. :)
 
May 24, 2014
3,687
763
20,935
Visit site
We usually have ours turned off. Just switch it on for the Cadac. As we are usually on hookup, we tend to use just the sparky stuff.
 
Sep 5, 2016
928
119
4,935
Visit site
If it is the same site that I'm looking at on YouTube it is a Park dean holiday park, they all seem a bit packed in to me,, so much for fire breaks
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,758
3,168
50,935
Visit site
Grey13 said:
You can have a solenoid fitted on the LP side of the bottle with a switch / button in the van to make the task easier. You could go one step further and have a methane / propane gas sensor fitted that has an alarm output contact and include that in the circuit so that if a gas leak is detected it will automatically switch the solenoid off. This is on my list of things to do.

I am of course sorry to read of the loss of caravans, and I'm glad no one was hurt. But the question should be why did the caravan develop a gas leak? We don't and probably will never know the actual reason, but my suspicion is the caravan involved was not properly maintained or serviced.

It should be standard practice to close the bottle valve or disconnect the regulator/pigtail for clip on bottles when the caravan is in storage. Some storage sites insist the gas bottles are removed from caravans to reduce the risk further.

If a caravan is in danger of developing a gas leak, why should it only happen when its in storage? There is an equal or possibly greater chance of it occurring when the caravan is in use. And almost universally the cause will be a gas system that has not been maintained correctly. Usually old flexible pipes which have perished, seals on the pig-tales or regulators, all of which should be picked up in plenty of time before they become dangerous when the system is checked by a competent fitter on a regular basis.

A gas sensor with a a contact? Really? So if gas is detected, it opens a contact which turns off a solenoid valve - a recipe for a spark.. No thanks - see you in caravanning heaven :(
 
Jun 26, 2017
445
17
10,685
Visit site
ProfJohnL said:
Grey13 said:
You can have a solenoid fitted on the LP side of the bottle with a switch / button in the van to make the task easier. You could go one step further and have a methane / propane gas sensor fitted that has an alarm output contact and include that in the circuit so that if a gas leak is detected it will automatically switch the solenoid off. This is on my list of things to do.

A gas sensor with a a contact? Really? So if gas is detected, it opens a contact which turns off a solenoid valve - a recipe for a spark.. No thanks - see you in caravanning heaven :(

Yes, exactly that Prof. Such systems are mandatory in both domestic and commercial gas installations in most European countries. To put your mind at rest, the contacts used are of course intrinsically safe.

I think it’s absolutely ludicrous in today’s H&S obsessed, blame culture world that in the UK, an inadequately fixed, wall-mounted Combi-boiler could drop to the floor, severing all pipes and the ruptured gas pipe would continue to spew gas into the atmosphere until the inevitable happened.
 
Apr 20, 2009
5,486
839
25,935
Visit site
camel said:
If it is the same site that I'm looking at on YouTube it is a Park dean holiday park, they all seem a bit packed in to me,, so much for fire breaks

Camel we were at this site last August, peak season and the pitch we had was huge, plenty of space between outfits, didnt think any of the pitches were that close, some even had fully grown hedgerows between.
Mind you looking back on the photos the hedge row has gone as well.
 
Mar 14, 2005
17,758
3,168
50,935
Visit site
I do wonder if the unnamed reporter has used a large slice of journalistic licence, because the headline says a gas cylinder exploded. That is a very emotive expression, and I seriously doubt it represents the truth in this case.

I am not seeking to deminish the impact of the result, which is of course devastating for those involved, but I am questioning the accuracy of the reporting.

Gas bottles manufactured to British standards, used and stored upright, are designed not to explode, but to vent excess pressure through a safety valve in the valve gear. But if a gas bottle was unable to relieve excess pressure, the most likely result would be for the cylinder to be hydraulically split, not shatter. Whilst the bottle would contain flammable material, it would not be explosive, because it's pure LPG with no Oxygen, liquified LPG has to expand to its vapour stage and then disipate to 15% mixed with air before it will burn, yet alone explode.

The bottle would have to have been heated way above ambient temperatures before this could happen, so the gas bottle would not be the source of the fire, it's a victim, which then may have assisted with the spread of the fire, and it's unlikely to have been a shattering explosion more likely a whoosh.

Having looked at the limited photographs, there is one completely destroyed caravan, but I can't see a gas bottle, perhaps it's already been taken away for forensic testing.
 
Sep 4, 2017
592
53
10,935
Visit site
I have to agree with prof here. I have personally witnessed explosion testing of gas bottles and they are designed to "split" at the weld. Very little if any fragments fly through the air. However it does make one almighty bang. However a gas leak once big enough can cause an explosion and devastating damage. Beats me, when almost once a month if not more, houses explode causing catastrophic damage that people do not install natural gas alarms in their homes. Cost as little as £10.00. Yes Prof to pre-empt natural gas is not LPG. Gas in a home is "natural" gas (methane) However for my money I have one of these installed. https://www.fireprotectiononline.co.uk/gas-detector-alarm.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9N3DvY2o2wIVKrvtCh2J5gBJEAQYAiABEgJix_D_BwE
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,469
3,605
50,935
Visit site
If you look very closely at the culprit caravan you will notice there are no tell tale signs of an explosion. The satellite dish and mast appear to be attached by the jockey wheel immediately in front of the gas locker. Note the heat has caused the tube to fold over. Note the chassis and outriggers show a very consistent distortion from heat. There are no explosive indications nor has the debris spread outside the caravan foot print. An explosion would certainly have distributed debris over a very wide area.
My best guess is an electrical fault caused ignition. As the Prof and Grey say the Cylinders are designed to blow the safety valve and later split. The heat from the initial fire may well have overheated the cylinder blowing the safety valve whose escaping gas fuelled the fire further.
I am confident the journalist is barking up the wrong tree.
 
Sep 29, 2016
1,805
214
19,935
Visit site
Am I missing something obvious with regard to the siting of the caravans?

A fire spread to 2 adjacent caravans, from the pics I see 2 caravans sited very close together, what has happened with regard to the minimum spacing requirement?

Not that it would have made any difference to the partially intact caravan?
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,469
3,605
50,935
Visit site
Anseo said:
Am I missing something obvious with regard to the siting of the caravans?

A fire spread to 2 adjacent caravans, from the pics I see 2 caravans sited very close together, what has happened with regard to the minimum spacing requirement?

Not that it would have made any difference to the partially intact caravan?
Sir Haggis
The guidelines are:- (a) If the caravans are arranged in a chessboard pattern, there shall be a minimum distance of 4.5 metres between the closest corners of any two caravans. (b) In all other arrangements, there shall be a minimum distance of 6 metres between any point on the one caravan and any point on another.
All you need is the breeze or wind . There are currently no fire break requirements.
 
Sep 29, 2016
1,805
214
19,935
Visit site
Dustydog said:
Anseo said:
Am I missing something obvious with regard to the siting of the caravans?

A fire spread to 2 adjacent caravans, from the pics I see 2 caravans sited very close together, what has happened with regard to the minimum spacing requirement?

Not that it would have made any difference to the partially intact caravan?
Sir Haggis
The guidelines are:- (a) If the caravans are arranged in a chessboard pattern, there shall be a minimum distance of 4.5 metres between the closest corners of any two caravans. (b) In all other arrangements, there shall be a minimum distance of 6 metres between any point on the one caravan and any point on another.
All you need is the breeze or wind . There are currently no fire break requirements.

Hi DustyD,

Probably just me, but from the OP's link I do not see any significant gap between 2 of the caravans, or am I looking at 1 partially burnt caravan and a consumed caravan with awning?

The report claims 3 caravans destroyed.

Thanks,
John
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,469
3,605
50,935
Visit site
Hi John,
Looking at this photo the two units near us both had awnings. The one in the foreground is the epicentre. The one to it’s left does seem compliant as far as separation goes. However the third victim to the rear of the hedge in the row behind may be very close. Hard to tell. I’d be very surprised if a firm like Parkdean broke the guidelines.
On that note it is worth mentioning , especially for new comers, don’t fight the fire. Get everyone out asap and call the brigade. Flames spread rapidly in s caravan as do the toxic gases of combustible materials. :)

2398_B7_E7-12_AA-4_B61-9_EE4-_A42217961676.jpg
 
Sep 29, 2016
1,805
214
19,935
Visit site
Dustydog said:
Hi John,
Looking at this photo the two units near us both had awnings. The one in the foreground is the epicentre. The one to it’s left does seem compliant as far as separation goes. However the third victim to the rear of the hedge in the row behind may be very close. Hard to tell. I’d be very surprised if a firm like Parkdean broke the guidelines.
On that note it is worth mentioning , especially for new comers, don’t fight the fire. Get everyone out asap and call the brigade. Flames spread rapidly in s caravan as do the toxic gases of combustible materials. :)

2398_B7_E7-12_AA-4_B61-9_EE4-_A42217961676.jpg

Thank you Dusty, all has become clear (DOH! :blush: ) thanks to your explanation.

I did not take in, see or notice the burnt out caravan on the opposite side of the dividing fence, (best get new specs then :blink: ) my bad, it all it makes sense now.

Sorry for being such a wazzock.

Cheers to you,
John
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,469
3,605
50,935
Visit site
Anseo said:
Dustydog said:
Hi John,
Looking at this photo the two units near us both had awnings. The one in the foreground is the epicentre. The one to it’s left does seem compliant as far as separation goes. However the third victim to the rear of the hedge in the row behind may be very close. Hard to tell. I’d be very surprised if a firm like Parkdean broke the guidelines.
On that note it is worth mentioning , especially for new comers, don’t fight the fire. Get everyone out asap and call the brigade. Flames spread rapidly in s caravan as do the toxic gases of combustible materials. :)

2398_B7_E7-12_AA-4_B61-9_EE4-_A42217961676.jpg

Thank you Dusty, all has become clear (DOH! :blush: ) thanks to your explanation.

I did not take in, see or notice the burnt out caravan on the opposite side of the dividing fence, (best get new specs then :blink: ) my bad, it all it makes sense now.

Sorry for being such a wazzock.

Cheers to you,
John
No problem but it does show how caravans will burn rapidly. Photos are not easy to decipher and the longer you look the more you may see.
DD :)
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,552
6,342
50,935
Visit site
camel said:
I wonder if this will turn in to a bun fight between the caravan insurance companies,

Shouldn’t do as not any real difference to s multiple car shunt and they are well practiced in sorting out those sort of issues. However it’s a times like this incident where you experience the difference between a good insurer and a not so good one.
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,469
3,605
50,935
Visit site
otherclive said:
camel said:
I wonder if this will turn in to a bun fight between the caravan insurance companies,

Shouldn’t do as not any real difference to s multiple car shunt and they are well practiced in sorting out those sort of issues. However it’s a times like this incident where you experience the difference between a good insurer and a not so good one.

This is why it is always best to use a blue chip Insurer who has a class one caravan claims reputation. In the event the second or third caravan wasn’t insured they will have to sue the first owner. They will have to prove beyond all reasonable doubt the first owner was culpably negligent in allowing the fire to start. Not an easy proposition.
 
Nov 16, 2015
10,628
2,941
40,935
Visit site
Next thing is the caravan site owners will be banning all BBQ's except for Cadacs, . Looking at the pictures, looked as though, the first picture showed a cooker hob, inside it, any one else notice that ?
 

Hoomer

BANNED
Jun 11, 2018
65
9
4,585
Visit site
EH52ARH said:
Next thing is the caravan site owners will be banning all BBQ's except for Cadacs, . Looking at the pictures, looked as though, the first picture showed a cooker hob, inside it, any one else notice that ?

Yes, proof that you can’t legislate against stupidity.
Gas hob inside and up against the side of an awning? What can possibly go wrong!
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts