AMSA Safety Alert: Petrol Vapours

AMSA Safety Alert: Petrol Vapours

Risks associated with explosion due to the accumulation of petrol vapours

Posted on 20.09.2019

Risk factors

Petrol vapours are denser than air so any petrol leaks or vapours can accumulate in a vessel’s bilge, or in low parts of a cabin if the area is not properly ventilated. When petrol vapours mix with air within a specific concentration range, the mixture becomes explosive.

Exposure of accumulated petrol vapours to an ignition source may result in an explosion and fire with potentially catastrophic consequences. Potential ignition sources include:

  • smoking, naked flames or pilot lights
  • communication equipment eg mobile phones
  • portable electrical equipment
  • fixed electrical systems
  • hot work eg welding, grinding and cutting
  • hot surfaces eg exhaust pipes, flues, and ducting
  • static electricity
  • sparks generated by mechanical means eg hammers and other hand tools.

Vessels with non-compliant or poorly maintained fuel systems are at a greater risk of explosion or catching fire than those that are compliant and well maintained.



Petrol vapours are extremely volatile and are likely to explode when they come into contact with an ignition source.

For the safety of passengers and crew, it is essential the risk of explosion due to petrol vapours is managed through compliance with applicable technical standards, regular periodic inspections and safe operational practices.





Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On



An Outdoor-tober activity

National Children’s Week

Children's Week celebrates the right of children to enjoy childhood - to demonstrate their talents, skills and abilities
Read more



An Outdoor-tober activity

Gone Fishing Day

When all Australians can get out on the water for a fish!
Read more



2019 Australian Walking & Cycling Conference

Read more

Latest News

Pre-existing Health Conditions

Incidents in the Outdoors: Pre-existing Health Conditions

Read more
Active Clubs Funding Now Open

Providing funding of up to $2,000 for either equipment or training

Read more
Tourism Industry Business Capability Program

Supporting tourism operators across the state by building digital capability

Read more

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten