Root Cause Analysis of an Oil-Burning Tabletop Torch Explosion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent severe burn injuries and at least one death have been attributed to the sudden explosion of a particular type of tabletop fuel oil-burning torch when moved by or somehow affected by the user while lit. An investigation was performed to determine the variables involved in the design and operation of the subject torch that provided the necessary and sufficient conditions for the occurrence of the above explosions. The investigation findings strongly suggest that the explosions were caused by a faulty design of the tabletop torch that failed to separate the fire (ignition source) from a fuel that had too low of a flashpoint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1644
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Failure Analysis and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Catastrophic failure
  • Explosion
  • Failure analysis
  • Forensic analysis


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