1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    Default Propane cylinder BLEVE evacuation distance

    I was reviewing with my crew this article on composite propane cylinder emergencies. One of the guys asked what was the necessary distance to evacuate for an impending steel cylinder BLEVE. Obviously I said as far away as possible however, I recall seeing a chart that provided a recommended stand-off distance for various sized propane cylinder explosions.

    I have search for an hour and cannot find it. I believe the chart was actually in reference to terrorism however any info would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    KevinFFVFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA


    haha, we have whats called the "rule of thumb". this means we pull back and hold our thumbs up and look at the scene. if you can still see the scene, your still to close.

    but in all seriousness.....

    i searched for BLEVE evacuation distances, and came up with a few things. one was a chart put together from Queens University (in london or wherever queens is, idk) and they compare the tank capacity in liters and the distance in meters to evacuate


    for a tank filled with propane with about 1000 liters (or around 264.18 gallons) they calculate a fireball radius of about 20 meters in distance and a minimum evacuation distance of about 500 meters and a working distance of about 100 meters. you can take a look at the chart for yourself and see other examples.

    heres another website...


    (from the website)
    BLEVEs have been known to hurl debris weighing a hundred pounds or more for more than a half-mile from the explosion. There can be a trail of flaming vapor as a portion of the exploded tank or container flies through the air. The blast wave from a BLEVE can destroy structures several hundred feet from the incident. These incidents makes BLEVEs particularly dangerous.

    another thing, if you watch a propane BLEVE in slow motion, you can actually spot TWO explosions that occur. one is the initial explosion from the cylinder failure. when that explosion occurs, it hurls all of the liquid propane away from the cylinder at tremendous speeds. when you continue to watch the explosion in slow motion, you will see along the outside of the fireball and "white liquid substance" which is the liquid propane which has not caught yet. when all of that propane catches there is another explosion which causes the rest of the fireball.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Ontario--Massive Propane Fire
    By RalphSafety in forum Fire Wire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2006, 11:30 AM
  2. Propane Co. cited by OSHA in explosion
    By GeorgeWendtCFI in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-23-2004, 08:10 AM
  3. New Mexico Propane Truck-1 dead
    By NJFFSA16 in forum Fire Wire
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-01-2002, 11:55 PM
  4. Civilian Fire Fatalities
    By DCFF in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 02-08-2002, 08:18 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register