What To Do When Gas Cylinder Catches Fire: Emergency Guideline

In the event of a gas cylinder catching fire, immediately evacuate the area and call emergency services. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire yourself. 

Keep others away, and do not handle the cylinder. Prioritize safety and wait for professionals to handle the situation.

Let’s see what are the causes of a cylinder catching fire, what to do, and what precautions to maintain. This will be very crucial knowledge for the safety of you and your family. 

Things You Should Be Doing When Gas Cylinder Catches Fire

Things You Should Be Doing When Gas Cylinder Catches Fire

You should realize the situation first. Gas cylinders catching fire can lead to dreadful accidents. Follow these instructions if you ever face such incidents:

Immediate Evacuation

Upon discovering a gas cylinder fire, your first and foremost action should be to evacuate the area immediately. Ensure that everyone in the vicinity, including yourself, moves to a safe distance away from the fire and potential hazards.

Call for Emergency Assistance

Dial emergency services to report the gas cylinder fire. Clearly communicate the location, the nature of the incident, and any relevant details to ensure a swift and appropriate response from trained professionals.

Do Not Attempt to extinguish

Resist the urge to extinguish the gas cylinder fire yourself, as this task requires specialized training and equipment. Gas cylinder fires are unique and demand careful handling by trained firefighters or hazardous materials teams.

Prevent Approach

Keep others away from the vicinity of the fire. Warn and prevent curious bystanders from approaching the area to avoid potential harm or complications.

Turn Off Gas Supply 

If it is safe to do so and you are trained in gas shut-off procedures, consider turning off the gas supply to the affected area. This action can help mitigate the source of the fire, but exercise caution and only proceed if you have the necessary knowledge.

Wait for Professional Assistance

While you may feel compelled to take action, it is critical to wait for trained professionals to handle the gas cylinder fire. They possess the expertise, equipment, and protocols to effectively manage the situation and minimize risks.

Keep Extinguishers Ready

While you should not attempt to extinguish the fire yourself, having fire extinguishers readily available in the area can be beneficial for tackling any secondary fires that might occur.

Inform Others

Ensure that people in nearby areas are informed of the gas cylinder fire and the need to avoid the vicinity. Effective communication can prevent further accidents and ensure the safety of those around.

Post-Incident Safety Assessment

After the situation is resolved by emergency services, assess the surrounding area for any residual hazards, leaks, or damage caused by the fire. Take necessary precautions and make arrangements for any necessary repairs or clean-up.

What You Should Not Do

Before taking any action in response to a gas cylinder fire, it’s crucial to be aware of what you should avoid doing. Here is a table outlining the actions you should refrain from 

Attempt to extinguish the fire yourselfGas cylinder fires require specialized equipment and training for safe handling. Your attempt could worsen the situation.
Touch or handle the leaking cylinderHandling the cylinder could lead to unintentional ignition or worsening of the leak, heightening the risk of fire or explosion.
Re-enter the area without professional clearanceEntering before professionals deem it safe may expose you to residual hazards or reigniting flames.
Use water to extinguish a gas fireWater can react with certain gases, intensifying the fire or causing other hazardous reactions.
Ignore the need to evacuate promptlyDelaying evacuation may lead to potential harm, inhalation of toxic gases, or exposure to flames.

How Do Gas Cylinders Catch Fire?

How Do Gas Cylinders Catch Fire

Gas cylinder fires can result from a combination of factors. It’s essential to comprehend these elements to prevent such incidents and respond effectively if they occur.

Gas Leakage and Accumulation

Gas cylinders store compressed gases under high pressure, making them susceptible to leakage if their valves, regulators, or seals are compromised. Leaked gas can accumulate in enclosed spaces, creating an explosive mixture when exposed to an ignition source.

Ignition Sources

Gas leaks can be ignited by various sources, such as open flames, sparks, electrical equipment malfunctions, or even static electricity. These ignition sources can trigger fire when they come into contact with the leaked gas.

Poor Ventilation

Poor ventilation can lead to a gas cylinder catching fire by allowing leaked gas to accumulate in confined spaces. When gas leaks from a cylinder, it tends to be denser than air and can settle in low-lying areas.

If an ignition source is introduced in such an environment, the accumulated gas can ignite. It can result in a fire or explosion. Adequate ventilation is essential to dissipate leaked gas and prevent its concentration.

Incorrect Storage and Handling

If a cylinder is improperly stored or subjected to physical damage, its valves or protective caps could be compromised. This results in gas leakage over time. Additionally, dropping or mishandling the cylinder can cause damage that weakens its structure. Leaked gas can then accumulate in the vicinity, increasing the risk of ignition.

Corrosion and Wear

Corrosion and wear on a gas cylinder can contribute to a fire hazard by weakening its structural integrity. It also promotes gas leakage. Over time, exposure to environmental factors and chemicals can corrode the cylinder’s surface. It leads to small cracks or perforations.

Similarly, wear and tear from regular use can compromise the cylinder’s integrity. These weakened areas can become points of vulnerability for gas leakage. If leaked gas accumulates in the surrounding area and encounters an ignition source, it can ignite and start a fire. 

Manufacturing Defects

Faults in the manufacturing process, such as poor welds or substandard materials, can weaken the cylinder’s integrity, making it more susceptible to leaks or ruptures.

Inadequate Maintenance

Lack of regular maintenance and inspection of gas cylinders can lead to unnoticed leaks or deteriorating conditions, escalating the risk of fire.


You should hold your nerve if a gas cylinder catches fire. In such events, prioritizing swift evacuation, alerting emergency services, and refraining from personal extinguishing attempts are paramount. 

Trusting professional responders and following safety protocols ensures the best outcome, minimizing risks to life and property.

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