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Department for Transport - Chapter 10
10.1 Explosions, Fires and Accidents Resulting from Leakage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
10.1.2 The possible dangers associated with the misuse of such installations include fire, explosion and asphyxiation due to the leakage of gas from appliances, storage containers or defective fittings or due to an accumulation of gas following flame failure. Incidents may result in loss of life and sometimes cause serious material damage. The siting of gas consuming appliances and storage containers and the provision of adequate ventilation of the spaces containing them are consequently most important.
10.1.3 In addition to the risk of asphyxiation should the leakage or accumulation of gas occur in an enclosed space, there is also the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when the appliance is in use. It is dangerous to sleep in spaces where gas-consuming open-flame appliances are left burning and it follows that heaters without flues should not be sited in areas designed as sleeping quarters or in unventilated spaces communicating directly with such areas.
10.1.4 Furthermore, open-flame heaters and gas refrigerators with non-enclosed burners may present a serious hazard from the fire and explosion aspects and if possible, their use should be avoided.
10.1.5 In the United Kingdom the gases most commonly used for domestic LPG installations are butane or propane conforming to BS 4250 - Commercial butane and propane. A stenching agent is added to enable the presence of gas to be detected by smell even when its concentration in air is below its lower limit of flammability.
10.1.6 It is important to remember with LPG installations that the gases, although heavier than air, if released, may travel some distance tending to fall to the bottom of a compartment. Here they diffuse and may form an explosive mixture with air, as in the case of petrol vapours.