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Controlled Area

AS/NZS5601.2.2020 Clause 3.1.8

To prevent risks associated with gas leaks, a “Controlled area” surrounds each cylinder. Here “cones” overlap & control the area above, around & under cylinder & extend to the ground. The area also wraps around the vehicle.

No ignition source, such as electrical items, or a vehicle opening, or flue, or air intake to any appliance, or any fuel source is allowed within the controlled area.

Equipment essential for vehicle safety is allowed. See Clause 3.1.8 Note 3.

The following diagram gives an example of the controlled area:

Note: There is devil in the detail with this simplified picture.

The diagram above (as well as Fig. 3.1.8(A) of the standard) shows the cone having an angle of 60° from the horizontal around the base of the cylinder. The 1060mm radius shown at the base of the cylinder is an approximation based on a typical 9kg cylinder. The actual dimension of this radius varies with the height of the cylinder – as a calculation based on the 60 degrees.

So, where does this leave us with a smaller (eg 4.5kg) cylinder? Using the calculation based on 60 degrees, the 1060mm dimension will reduce. As each cylinder may have a different height, the calculation will need to be checked for each product type.

What is allowed?

The standard allows that equipment required for vehicle safety may be situated within the Controlled area. These would include:

  • an electric break-away coupling,
  • an electronic stability control,
  • electric brakes,
  • a trailer plug, or
  • road safety lamps (eg indicators, side market lamps etc).

What is not allowed?

No ignition source is allowed in the Controlled area. So nothing that could produce sufficient heat, or a spark is allowed.

Items which are motor driven or contain a switch are considered ignition sources. 

Such items may include:

  • a motorized winch,
  • a motorized Jockey wheel,
  • a pump,
  • a generator,
  • lights,
  • batteries,
  • a gas safety valve which is not “encapsulated type”, or
  • appliance flues of any fuel type

Also excluded are:

  • appliance air intakes (for any fuel source) and
  • any opening into the vehicle.

Note: AS/NZS5601.2.2020 allows the use of a vapour barrier as an acceptable technical solution to limit (reduce) the size of the controlled area. LINK to vapour barrier page

There must also be a warning label – durable and permanent.

RV Merchandise Catalogue item C-7 ticks all the boxes.

For full details check your copy of AS/NZS5601.2.2020.

AS/NZS 5601.2 Clause references:

Controlled area Clause 3.1.8

Note 1. Stipulates a permanent and durable warning

Note 2. Advises gas valves must be encapsulated.

Note 3. Gives examples of items associated with vehicle safety:

  • Controlled area full details. See figure 3.1.8 (A)
  • Controlled area definition. 1.3.17
  • Encapsulated definition. 1.3.22
  • Ignition sources definition. 1.3.41
  • Air intake of any appliance 3.1.6 (C)
  • Openings into vehicle. See figure 3.1.8 (D)

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