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Subject Topic: I burnt my tent on purpose Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by langleys14/9/2005 at 6:09pm
Outfit:  Vermont L Nebraska XL and Montana 4 6     Location:  Essex
Joined: 26/8/2005
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Well not my main tent anyway.

I was reading in the news section about a tent that burnt down.  I hadn't really thought about fires until now, and how a tent would handle one.  Although I always keep a fire extinguisher in the car I wanted to know more.  I couldn't find much out on the internet, well nothing specific anyway, so I thought I would do my own test.

I had an older 2 man Gelert tent that I bought off Ebay about 2 years ago for £5.  It was used just for storing items we couldn't fit in the main tent when we had a much smaller tent than we have now.  The zips are broken, it now leaks and has quite a few holes in it.

Instead of throwing it away I thought I would burn it under different conditions to see what happened.

First of all the flysheet.  I tried with a lighter and at first not much happened.  The most I could get happen was to burn a hole ( a very small one ) which smoldered for a couple of seconds and then went out.  Next I tried my Coleman Twister stove.  First on a low setting and then on a high setting.  All this done was burnt a proessivley bigger hole that again just smoldered and went out.  In short, I couldn't get the flysheet to catch fire until I burnt it properly in the tin bin using BBQ starter fuel. Even then it melted rather than burnt and just got smaller and smaller generating a lot of smoke.  Had it not had a constant flame, it would have gone out.

After the flysheet, I did the same with the inner tent.  This was exactly the same except the mesh nets on the doors which burnt a bit more rapidly, but still no major fire.  Again, this got finished off by putting it in the tin dustbin.

This actually gave me a bit of confidence.  Looking at the notice on it, it reads ' This tent is fire retardent, but WILL burn.'.  The fact is, it handled a fire very well and this was just a cheap tent even when new.

I just hope that my main tents are as good and safe as this one although I am not going to prove the theory.

In short, it would have taken something else to burn quite intensley to get this tent to be a major fire hazard.  Smething like a stove fuel of petrol to fall over and spill whilst on.

I will still be very cautious about fires but it has given me a little more confidence when it comes to safety.



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Steve

Message posted by wildie14/9/2005 at 6:35pm
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already knew that, but sadly some ppl do buy and use them cheapo imports which are not as retarded more flamable, i already stated on this forum somewhere about it

Message posted by rinty15/9/2005 at 9:58am
Outfit:  Coachman Festival     Location:  Hope Valley - Peak District
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What a shame you didn't video it. that would have been very interesting to watch.

Message posted by J LC15/9/2005 at 11:21am
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Hello Langley's

An intersting experiment and result, Would you agree you need a continuing source of heat to destroy the tent? Often it may not be the tent it's self, it is probably whats inside.

There is another concern though, Many people use gas lights and or cookers. These are very convenient but the do have a potential incideous danger. The gas is Liquified usually butane, and it is heavier than air. Many modern tents have sewn in ground sheets, which effectively form a pond. If the gas leaks inside the tent it will colect in the ground sheet as a pool of gas.

If the container holds half a litre of gas in liquifed form, that will expand by about 250 times to give 125 litres of gas vapour in teh tent. You only need about 5% gas to air mixture for it to become flamable, which would easily be the case in a tent. a simple source of ignition and the lot goes up. 

Now if we recognise the potential danger, and take simple precautions, then LPG is a great fuel.

Always ensure connectoins are properly made and secure ( hoses should be clipped) ,

Flexible pipes must be in good condition (not cracked or crazing)

Always turn gas tapps fully off.

Don't use gas inside tents with sealed groundsheets (dont pitch tents in closed hollows where gas could collect)

Always transport, use and store gas bottles upright.

Check for leaks using a by brushing a solution of washing up liquid in water which will bubble if a leak is present.

 

 



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Remember the fastest car is always at the back of the que, but the slowest at the front gets there first!
John L

Message posted by Cas5415/9/2005 at 11:51am
Outfit:  Motorhome     Location:  Kent
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Cheers for that Steve ... makes me feel safer as we have a Gelert 17

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Cas   @(*0*)@


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Message posted by langleys15/9/2005 at 12:03pm
Outfit:  Vermont L Nebraska XL and Montana 4 6     Location:  Essex
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I think the Gelerts are excellent value for money.  I am not quite sure how they do it for the price.  The 2 man one we had served us really well while it was in use.  It stayed up even when our main one came down and 4 of us crouched in the tent until the morning when the rain stopped.  Just bought another small Gelert do some backpacking with.

Even now it has died, it still served a very good purpose.



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Steve

Message posted by tom109815/9/2005 at 12:35pm
Outfit:  Vango Venture 500 + Outwell Colorado 5     Location:  Prescot Merseyside
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Thanks for that langleys...really interesting..and gives us alot more confidence when bbqing...always really worried about the smallest of sparks going anywhere near the tent..but now will relax a bit..!

 



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Optimists look up and count the stars, pessimists look down and count cracks.


Message posted by abicaravanclub15/9/2005 at 1:34pm
Outfit:  Abi Award Daystar     Location:  Merseyside Home of the true Blues
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I'm glad i've got a tin tent LOL.

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Message posted by langleys15/9/2005 at 1:55pm
Outfit:  Vermont L Nebraska XL and Montana 4 6     Location:  Essex
Joined: 26/8/2005
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I have seen tin tents burn.  I live quite near to a big traveller park ( you may have seen news on the TV about the council have been trying to evict them for some time ), and they had a major fire not so long ago where unfortunately some people died.

Actually, I agree with JLC, I dont think it is the tent that burns when there is a fire but rather the things in it.  An intense flame will burn most things if it is hot enough. 



Post last edited on 15/09/2005 13:56:51

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Steve

Message posted by jenhug15/9/2005 at 4:09pm
Outfit:  None Entered     Location:  Kent
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I have to say, i think the title of this thread is hilarious!

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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." In memory of Bear. 06/03/06 - 25/01/12 Izzie 23/09/07 - 25/03/13


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