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Subject Topic: Exploding Gas Stove
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Message posted by Wilko3104/6/2009 at 12:01pm
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Hello campers!

Just wondered if anyone had had any problems with gas stoves going horribly wrong?  We bought a couple of the little briefcase type stoves recently having used them before without any problems but had a spot of trouble (to say the least!).  We opted for the Outwell stoves as they were on offer at the time but also because they are supposed to be a well trusted brand.  We decided to head to our nearest beauty spot and have a barbecue but the kids wanted supernoodles with it so we took one of our new stoves.  We found our spot on the grass by the stream, set up our picnic table and chairs with everyone laying uncomfortably on their blankets all around us looking most impressed at the professional glampers who had just turned up!  In went the gas cartridge (which was the correct type before anyone asks!) and down went the lever to fix it into place.  But before I even turned the knob to ignite it - whooosh up it went sending me flying backwards and setting fire to the grass all around it!  The supernoodles got tossed on the floor and the pan got dipped into the stream and the water thrown over the fire but because the gas was still turned on the fire just kept on going and I couldn't get to the lever to disconnect it because the flames were too high!  Anyway, the next thing I knew some guy appeared from nowhere and picked it up and threw it in the stream (he must have burned himself because I would have done that myself if I could have picked it up!).  It still didn't go out for few more minutes and instead started floating off downstream which had lots of trees and shrubs overhanging it.  I thought we were going to end up with a complete bush fire on our hands but the flames eventually died down enough for me to be able to jump in and catch up with it and release the gas canister and out it went leaving my nice new camping stove a mix of burned paint, hot metal and melted plastic.

What a nightmare!  The kids were crying, the people all around were staring at us and I was dripping wet!  But more importantly, thank God I wasn't actually camping and anywhere near my tent!  I dread to think how that could have ended up!  I'm absolutely scared stiff to use a gas stove now.  Needless to say, when we do go away we will be taking a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water, a fire blanket, alarm and a fireman (if I can manage to pick one up from somewhere! 17)

Are these stoves prone to this kind of thing or did I just get a dodgy one?

 



Post last edited on 04/06/2009 12:07:48

Message posted by HappieAnnie04/6/2009 at 12:11pm
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Hmmm there was a gas-fuelled fire recently - Shell Island I think, a woman had to be airlifted after it flared up.

Edit - Nope, not at all like your incident sorry, seems the stove was already hot here


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May 1st-3rd Bedfordshire
Summer 2009 - somewhere by the sea
July 2010 Keswick Convention - WhooHooo

Message posted by Valk_scot04/6/2009 at 12:22pm
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Best thing to do if a gas appliance goes up like that and there is nothing flammable nearby is to stand back and  let it burn itself out. Or use a fire blanket, or a wool (not plastic or synthetic) picnic rug soaked in water. Water alone won't put out most burning gas jets.

I wonder what ignited it? Spark?

 


Message posted by Steve McV04/6/2009 at 12:31pm
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Sonds like the seal was damaged/missing.  Have not heard this problem before, but I have read that suitcase stoves can explode if too large a pan is used allowing flames to spread to heat up the gas bottle.  Doesen't sound like yours had a chance for this to happen.  Glad you were OK.  I've never been a fan of cooking inside a tent.  I only do so in the camper as the stove is screwed down with the gas bottles are outside.

Steve.



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Steve.

Message posted by bordercaz05/6/2009 at 12:25am
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I seem to recall there were a few problems with the cheap suitcase type stoves, from markets etc, but would have thought an Outwell would be OK. I'd be getting on to them fast about it, may be a faulty batch. Can't understand how it could self ignite like that unless there was a major fault.

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Caz
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Message posted by mattlad05/6/2009 at 12:37am
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I am sure that I have seen an article about an exploding gas stove in on of this months sailing magazines...........

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Those who talk don't know.
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Message posted by 2gocampin05/6/2009 at 8:46am
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Hi Wilko31,

It happened to us just a few weeks back as well but in our tent at 3am in the morning. Not an Outwell stove but a Campin Gaz one although it was proved that it wasn't the stove but the Mega 1 gas canister that was faulty. We posted our experience on here also.

Glad that everyone was ok, it does shake you up when it happens as it burns with such force that I don't think that an extinguisher would put it out anyway.

Out of interest what make of gas canister where you using ?  

Gary



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Message posted by JellyBabyRiot05/6/2009 at 12:02pm
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just as 2gocampin say's, it sound like your canister had a leak. see the tread he started here: gas bottle WARNING!!!
i'm glad none of you were injured though.

i think it may also be possible that some of the canisters have a weakness that cause them to fracture when the securing lever is "clicked" into place.

i always stick to campingaz canisters, a little more expensive than some of the cheap ones you can buy but i've had no problems with them so far. they can be bought in argos, 19 odd for 12 or 9 odd for 4.

Message posted by Wilko3108/6/2009 at 10:20am
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Hi everyone,

Thank you for your comments.  Funnily enough 2gocampin it was a Mega1 canister that we were using!  I bought a pack of them from Winfields when I bought the stoves.  It sounds awfully coincidental.  It was the only brand that they had in stock at the time so I just picked a pack up not really thinking about it.  I think I'll be a bit more choosey in future.  To be honest, I don't know why but I never really suspected the gas canister, I just presumed it was a faulty stove.  I think that it was the fact that I didn't actually touch the ignition, I just pulled down the securing lever and up it went.  I presumed that the lever must have been catching on somthing and caused a spark but thinking about it logically there must have been a fair amount of gas present for it to have gone up with such a blast so the can must have been leaking. 

My husband has contacted Winfields who say that they will exchange the stoves but he didn't feel that they were taking the matter with the seriousness that it deserved.  He tried to contact Outwell directly to tell them about it but found that you can't do that - your supplier has to do it for you so it looks as though it won't get the attention that it really needs.  Maybe Winfields will take it more seriously when they actually see the stove (what's left of it!).  I will also take back the gas cannisters and tell them what I now know about Mega1.

I was never really reckless but I have certainly become much less complacent about using gas stoves and now have a plan of action in case anything like this ever happens again.  It took me so much by surprise that I panicked a bit and left it too long before engaging my brain and thinking logically about rereleasing the lever to cut the gas off.  When you see a fire you automatically think 'water' which was why I ran to the stream and filled my pan up to throw over it but of course I should have been thinking 'gas' and trying to cut that off!  In just a few seconds the flames were so big that I couldn't get to it and it was too late.

While I still haven't suceeded in picking up a fireman to take away with me I will most definitely keep a bucket of water and a blanket handy ready to throw over it if it ever shows any sign of not looking right!  And come rain or shine my cooking will always be done well away from my precious Idaho XL !

 


Message posted by Rowlands08/6/2009 at 12:20pm
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I had a cheap suitcase one a few years ago and it used to leak from the point the bottle fed the stove and sometimes it would ignite..very dangerous. I got my money back and bought a camping gaz one which has been fine for about 3 yrs now...you can't cut corners on gas appliances, spend a little extra and stay safe...

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Message posted by AngelicMinx08/6/2009 at 12:24pm
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OMG thank god no one was hurt. That must have been terrifying.

And the scary thing is that some people still insist that it is safe to cook inside a tent.

This thread should be pinned

Angie


Message posted by lingray08/6/2009 at 1:22pm
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bump so more people will see this thread

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29 AND HOLDING !!!!

Message posted by ralph twiss08/6/2009 at 5:15pm
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"While I still haven't suceeded in picking up a fireman to take away with me"

will I do ???


Ralph


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A just retired fireman and enjoying every moment!

Message posted by No Faff08/6/2009 at 5:26pm
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Suitcase style stoves - are they safe?

Suitcase-style gas cooker safety

Here are two threads from a few weeks ago on the same subject.

 


Message posted by petemillis08/6/2009 at 6:09pm
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I posted on the other thread "Cooking in tents" http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/chatter/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=3&TopicID=187440&PagePosition=2

A mate had the exact same thing happen with one of these stoves. I don't think it makes any difference what brand name is shown on the stove - the cheap brief case ones are all exactly the same, and no doubt come out of the same factory. Just be careful, check the seals and stay well away from a tent or other flamable stuff.


Message posted by Wilko3108/6/2009 at 7:32pm
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Thanks for the offer Ralph!  You've got a choice - you can either bunk down with the kids or the labrador (I recommend the labrador!) and you're in charge of cooking now that I'm too scared to use a stove (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it...)

 



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