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Fuel Safety Awareness
Safe use and storage of common fuels at home and in the workplace

 

The essential killer - will you be next? 

Acknowledgement: Mr Sudharshan, Zonal Manager for Gas Safe India has kindly provided much of information and photos on this page. Photo credits are included in the alt image which can be seen by placing your cursor over the photo. the  

We all need fire to cook food, heat the home, wash the cloths and bed sheets and much more, but what we use to fuel the fire causes the loss of thousands of lives because many people just don't know how to handle commonly used fuels properly.

Gas Safe India banner, courtesy of Mr Louis Dion, Gas Safe India - gassafemiracle@yahoo.comFuel safety awareness is one of the most essential things you and your family need to know in order to avoid tragedy.

House fires and fires in the workplace cost many thousands of lives each and every year, cause untold pain and suffering and destroy billions of dollars worth of property and assets.

Even more tragic is that most of these fires are preventable if some simple, standard fuel safety precautions are taken.

On a global basis, the most prevalent causes of house fires and workplace fires are the careless, negligent and ignorant use and storage of fuels used for cooking, heating and industrial purposes.

Narasimha Nagar, India, Sept 2010 - 43 houses were destroyed by explosions and fire as a result of leaking LPG or kerosene. Photo by K.R. Deepak and provided by Gas Safe India.This is even more so in parts of the world where reliable electricity supplies and mains gas are not available, causing the population to rely on fuel sources such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), kerosene (also known as parrafin), wood, dried animal dung, oil from animals such as whales and seals and other forms of fuels distilled from crude oil, coal and shale.

Of the different fuel sources, LPG has rapidly become a popular and important part of the everyday lives of many people around the world.

LPG burns readily in normal atmospheric air and has an energy content similar to petrol.

When LPG is compressed at approximately 800 kPa, or 120 psi, it changes from a gaseous state to a liquid and become more dense by a factor of approximately 270 times - one (1) litre of LPG in its liquid state is equal to about 270 litres of LPG vapour.

LPG is also one of the cleanest burning fuels, being around 30 to 50 percent cleaner than other commonly used fuels.

Hingane Kurd, India, Jan 2010 - An LPG explosion and fire killed one, critically injured four more, destroyed four homes and at least five vehicles. Photo unattributed and supplied by Gas Safe India.These qualities make it an inexpensive and very efficient and effective fuel which can be easily packaged and transported, which is what makes it so popular.

However, the very properties which make LPG an effective, efficient and inexpensive fuel also make it extremely dangerous if mishandled and misused.

Whilst all fuels are a fire hazard, few others have the same energy content or ignite as easily.

Like petrol fumes, LPG fumes have a far greater potential to explode on ignition (as opposed to just burning), particularly when condensed in a confined area, and in quantities far less than is required for most other fuels to do the same.

Whilst all fire is dangerous and has the very real potential to take lives, slow starting and low intensity fires give occupants a far greater chance of survival than do high intensity fires, particularly when ignited by an explosion.

Hingane Kurd, India, Jan 2010 - An LPG explosion and fire killed one, critically injured four more, destroyed four homes and at least five vehicles. Photo unattributed and supplied by Gas Safe India.Despite its rapidly rising popularity, most people are still unaware of how to use LPG properly and how to maintain the equipment that stores and uses the gas, resulting in an alarming increase in the number of LPG related accidents, such as gas leakages and subsequent explosions and fires.

Further, the information and guidelines put out by many government agencies and LPG suppliers around the world do not cover the whole spectrum of safe LPG usage and storage.

This, in part, is due to lack of funds and resources in many instances, limiting the ability of the agencies and suppliers to communicate the necessary safety information to their population and users respectively.

Even in much of the so called developed world there are still too many people who disregard safety warnings, campaigns and directions in the belief nothing bad will ever happen to them.

They even disregard media reporting of LPG related tragedies, again dismissing them as something that will only ever happen to someone else.

Asmita Pandit, 22, was killed by an LPG explosion in Hingane Khurd in Jan 2010. Four others were critically injured, including a nine year old boy, four homes destroyed and at least five vehicles damaged. Photo unattributed and supplied by Gas Safe India.It's this neglect and complacency which ultimately causes the loss of dear ones, neighbours, work colleagues and the heavy loss of property.

Safety warnings, campaigns and directions are made for a very good reason - LPG and other fuels used for domestic and commercial uses are lethally dangerous.

You will never truly improve your security if you disregard the simple preventative steps that should be taken when using and storing common fuels around the home and in the workplace.

Gas Safe India logo. Provided by Gas Safe India.Gas Safe India and the Miracle Gas Safe India LPG Safety Awareness Programme

India is one country that suffers an inordinate number of LPG related incidents.

Despite their fast growing prosperity and very skilled workforce, much of the country's infrastructure is still developing, including the delivery of reliable electricity and mains gas services, making LPG very popular amongst the Indian population, even in the major cities.

In the middle half of 2010 alone, India suffered at least one (1) death, 17 serious injuries and the destruction of over 50 dwellings as a result of LPG explosions. Select case studies of these and other LPG incidents can be seen here.

And this period covered the Indian summer when LPG is not used for heating in much of the country.

Further, according to Indian authorities, 90 percent of domestic fires in India are caused by LPG leakages.

Gas Safe India logo and motto. Provided by Gas Safe India.Gas Safe India, who have created the Miracle Gas Safe LPG Safety Awareness Programme, was set up to actively address this needless loss.

Gas Safe India present their Miracle Gas Safe LPG Safety Awareness Programme, absolutely free of charge, to government offices, private businesses, non government organisations (NGO’s), resident's groups, social groups, schools and colleges in an effort to spread their message about the safe use and storage of LPG.

Automatic emergency shut-off valves save lives! They automatically shut-off in the event of a gas leak and have a number of other safety features. You should have one on every LPG cylinder in use. Photo provided by Gas Safe India.They've also appointed a Ms Miracle Gas Safe India to help gain the public's attention.

Mr Sudharshan, Zonal Manager for Gas Safe India, says that with 90 percent of domestic fires attributable to LPG, the only real solution is for people to implement the safety precautions advocated by Gas Safe India's Miracle Gas Safe LPG Safety Awareness Programme, which include the use of an automatic emergency shut-off valve at all times and learning the do's and don'ts of LPG use and storage.

Using an emergency shut-off valve not only gives you greater protection if there's a gas leak, but also stops most of the seepage that normal regulators allow.

Automatic emergency shut-off valves save lives! They automatically shut-off in the event of a gas leak and have a number of other safety features. You should have one on every LPG cylinder in use. Photo provided by Gas Safe India.An emergency shut-off valve will typically save 25 to 30 percent of the stored LPG from being lost in this way, improving not only your safety but also how much you get out of a cylinder of LPG.

LPG Awareness Presentation

This presentation was given on the Ladies Club, a TV programme for women which is broadcast on SNEHTV9, the number one local Bangalore news channel. The presentation includes the do's and don'ts of LPG awareness and First Aid in the event of an LPG related accident.

Please note that the language spoken is Kannada, however there are some excellent images and demonstrations provided which show you both the dangers of LPG and the practicality of the automatic emergency shut-off valve designed by Australian Geoffrey Foster and advocated by Gas Safe India, so even if you don't understand what is being said, please look at the entire presentation.

High incidences of LPG related tragedies are not limited to India alone.

Many other countries also suffer abnormally high incidences of LPG related accidents, but it's hard to quantify just how serious the LPG problem in some countries is because not all countries have an open, transparent government or free media.

A truck carrying LPG cylinders in the Southern Phillipines exploded in Feb 2007 killing 22, including a three year old boy, and injuring another 10. Only the time of day saved more from being killed and injured. The top photo shows the intensity of the LPG fuelled fire, whilst the bottom photo shows the remains on the following morning. Photo unattributed and supplied by Gas Safe India.Gas Safe India's message is relevant to everyone who uses LPG, or any other flamable fuels at home or in the workplace, no matter in what country you live.

We sincerely thank Mr Sudharshan and Gas Safe India for providing ImproveYourSecurity.com with much of the information and photos on this page.


Contact Information for

Gas Safe India

Miracle Gas Safe LPG Safety Awareness Programme

"Please Join Hands to Support This Mission and Save Our Country"

Contact person: Mr Sudharshan - Zonal Manager

 GAS SAFE INDIA - ISO 9001-2000 Certified

Sales and Authorized Service Center: #119, Bl Nilayam, 4th Mainroad, 4th Cross, Vivek Nagar, further extension, Bangalore 560047

Phone: 9035467100

Email: gassafemiracle@yahoo.com

Gas Safe India logo. Provided by Gas Safe India.

"Your Family Safety is Our Motto"

"We make society and Society makes us"

Be safe with Gas Safe


LPG SAFETY AWARENESS - What you need to know

Types of LPG

There are two (2) different grades, or blends, of LPG.

Preet Nagar, India, May 2010 - an LPG cylindar exploded in a kitchen, seriously injuring one and destroying the house. This is the debris littering the street outside what was left of the home. Photo by Tribune potographs provided by Gas Safe India.One is for automotive use only (called autogas) and comprises butane and propane. The butane is added to increase the energy content, however it's also more unstable.

The other is propane only, which is used for household appliances, use in caravans, campervans and boats and for barbeques and camping appliances.

The properties of these two grades differ to the degree that the appliance or engine must be fitted to use one particular grade.

For this reason it's unsafe to use the other grade of LPG in your appliance or engine than what it's been designed to use.

It's particularly unsafe to use LPG autogas as a substitute for propane only applicances and applications because of the greater energy content and volatility.

If you're unsure as to what type of LPG your applicance uses then consult the labels on the applicance or cylinder or ask your supplier before you use the appliance.

LPG cylinder expiry dates

All LPG cylinders have an expiry date, after which time it's not safe to use the cylinder.

You should never:

  • Use or accept an LPG cylinder that has passed its expiry date; or
  • Use or accept an LPG cylinder that does not have an expiry date on it.

Prabhjit Kaur of Preet Nagar was seriously injured when an LPG cylinder exploded in her kitchen in May 2010. Photo by Tribune photographs and provided by Gas Safe India.Expired LPG cylinders are not safe because they can no longer be guarenteed to be free from potentially dangerous defects, or still be suitable to store LPG under pressure.

Something as apparently simple as a dent in the cylinder, or a bit of rust may not appear anything major, but even a small defect like this may be sufficient to make your LPG cylinder dangerous to use any more.

You are also not to know if the seal and valve are still in good working order unless it's tested regularly.

All LPG cylinders should be tested and certified by a qualified and licenced LPG cylinder tester at least every ten (10) years, or lesser period if you local jurisdiction requires it, and the date of the last test stamped on the cylinder.

  

How to check the expiry date of an LPG cylinder 

 

All LPG cylinders have an expiry date, after which time it's not safe to use the cylinder. The expiry date can be found on the neck, collar or footing of the cylinder. This LPG cylinder has an expiry date of March 2007 and has a sealing plug attached. Photo provided by Gas Safe India.The expiry date is usually located on one of three places:

  • The neck of the cylinder;
  • The collar of the cylinder; or
  • The footing of the cylinder.

The expiry date is often displayed as an alpha numeric code, using one (1) of the letters A, B, C or D followed by a two (2) digit number - e.g. D13.

The letters represent the quarter (Qtr) of the year in which the cylinder expires -

  • A - March (First Qtr)
  • B - June (Second Qtr)
  • C - Sept (Third Qtr)
  • D - December (Fourth Qtr)

The digits are the last two (2) of the year of expiry.

Hence D13 represents the December Qtr of 2013.

Automatic emergency shut-off valves

Always use an automatic emergency shut-off valve with your LPG cylinders.

If you use more than one (1) cylinder at a time then you should have one automatic emergency shut-off valve for every cylinder in use.

The automatic emergency shut-off valve is used as well as a regulator, with the automatic emergency shut-off valve attached directly to the LPG cylinder and the regulator to the automatic emergency cut-off valve.

Only use automatic emergency shut-off valves that are certified as being suitable for use with LPG and the type of cylinder you intend to use it on.

Automatic emergency shut-off valves, such as the ones designed by Australian Geoffrey Foster and advocated by Gas Safe India, perform the following functions:

  • Automatically shut-off when it detects a major leak;
  • Have a minor leak test function;
  • Save up to 30 percent of the LPG in the cylinder by preventing seepage;
  • Have a gas level indicator so you know how much is in the cylinder; and
  • Substantially minimise the chance of an explosion or fire in normal circumstances.

Geoffrey Foster's automatic emergency shut-off valves have been certified by the following peak quality and standards organisations and regulatory authorities:

  • LPG Equipment Research Center Bangalore (India);
  • Test report from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Chennai (India);
  • Certified by Australian Gas Light (AGL) laboratories;
  • National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) (Australia) accredited laboratory;
  • Certified by Underwriters Laboratory Inc (UL) (USA);
  • ISO certification by SGS (UK);
  • Approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) (formerly the Department of Explosives) (India);
  • Approved by the Office of the Commissioner for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (India).

LPG Automatic Emergency Cut-Off Valve Demonstration

This video has four (4) parts - three (3) short advertisments for Gas Safe India at the start, then a ten (10) minute information video which includes scenes from LPG accidents and safety demonstrations, including the practicality and versitility of the LPG automatic emergency cut-off valve that they promote.

 Please note that the language spoken is Kannada, however there are some excellent images and demonstrations provided which show you both the dangers of LPG and the practicality of the automatic emergency shut-off valve designed by Australian Geoffrey Foster and advocated by Gas Safe India, so even if you don't understand what is being said, please look at the entire presentation. 

What to look for when buying LPG

LPG is colourless, odourless and heavier than air, so a sulphur based chemical (ethyl mercaptan) is often added to give it a smell like rotten cabbage, so that even a very small leak can be easily detected.

The remains of a kitchen in a house in Karvenagar, India, May 2010 after an LPG cylinder exploded after the occupant went to light her stove unaware there was a gas leak. She was critically injured. Photo unattributed and provided by Gas Safe India.Never accept LPG that does not have ethyl mercaptan or another strong smelling addative in it, otherwise you'll never know if you have a leak untill it's too late.

There's also a number of other things you'll want to make sure your supplier has in order before you deal with them.

The supplier and all their employees should be properly qualified and licenced to provide LPG, cylinders and any other appliances or fittings you may purchase or hire from them.

Look for a supplier who records the compliance plate certificate details of every cylinder and all equipment delivered to their customers.

This signifies that they take responsibility for the quality and safety of their LPG cylinders and equipment, whereas a supplier who doesn't record these details may be trying to avoid the consequences if their LPG cylinders or equipment cause an explosion or fire.

Brijesh Kumar was one of five people who sustained severe burns when an LPG cylinder exploded inside a shop in Derra Bassi, India, Oct 2010. Photo by Tribune photographs and provided by Gas Safe India.Look for a supplier who is able to help you with safety advice and knows the national standards and any applicable regulations in your jurisdiction.

A good sign is a supplier who asks you about what you intend to use the LPG for and where you intend to store the cylinders.

This shows they are concerned for your welfare and not just making a sale.

A supplier who inspects where you want to install the LPG cylinders and use the appliances is an even better sign because it demonstrates even more concern for your needs and safety and is proactive.

The benchmark for LPG suppliers is to also conduct regular safety audits, programmed maintenance and replace items where necessary.

Never discourage or stop your supplier from conducting these inspections or audits because at the end of the day they are doing them for your safety and wellbeing.

You may think the supplier's only doing them because they're more concerned about losing their licence or permit, but if the inspections and audits improve your safety then that's still a good thing.

Look for a supplier who will ensure that new or replacement appliances are connected, tested, adjusted and in safe working order before letting you use them.

A good supplier will also hand you the appliance operating instructions and explain them to you and ask if you have any questions about them.

If you receive your LPG from a tanker (your cylinders are refilled and not exchanged/swapped), then make sure that the supplier has the following safety systems and procedures in place:

  • That the tankers are designed and maintained to world best practice standards, including:
    • Vehicle performance logging systems;
    • Programme logic circuits with remote diagnosis to pinpoint problems before they occur; and
    • State of the art emergency shut down systems;
  • That the tankers undergo comprehensive daily and weekly routine safety checks; and
  • That they have real time access to customer records. 

If you're going to have a large LPG tanker delivering LPG to your home however many times a year you want to make sure it has state of the art safety systems.

The last thing you want is for a large LPG tanker to explode next to your home!

What to do if you smell LPG or suspect a leak

LPG is heavier than air, meaning it will eventually fall to ground or floor level when released into the atmosphere.

This means that the LPG will replace the air nearest the floor or ground.

Unless the building you're in is on fire, do not crawl or get low when getting out as doing so will cause you to inhale a greater quantity of LPG, which could cause you serious health problems, or even make you unconscious and stop you from getting out.

Never use a naked flame to detect a leak.

To check for gas leakage, spray soapy water on any suspect connection, pipe or hose and watch for bubbles - don't use plain water as this is ineffective.

Never tamper with any valves or other LPG cylinder or appliance fittings.

If you have any doubts at all, turn off the gas and have a qualified and licensed gas fitter check your LPG cylinder, valves, connections, hoses, pipes and applicances.

If you detect or suspect that a cylinder, appliance or fitting is leaking immediately turn off the supply valve and follow your Emergency Procedures.

Installing and repairing LPG appliances and systems

Only use qualified and licensed LPG fitters or installers to install or repair LPG appliances and systems.

Your jurisdiction may have differing qualification or licensing requirements depending on if the installation is in a building, or in a vehicle, such as a boat, caravan or campervan - make sure you get an installer with the right qualifications and licence for the job.

All work should be carried out in accordance with any national standards and any relevant regulations in your jurisdiction.

LPG piping inside a building should be to the same standard as for reticulated gas supplies.

Using LPG

Always follow these do's and don'ts:

  • Only use appliances designed and certified for use with LPG.
  • Only use the grade or blend of LPG that the appliance is designed and certified to use.
  • Always use an automatic emergency cut-off valve on the LPG cylinders in use.
  • Always use an LPG suitable regulator on your cylinders when using appliances which do not have an internal regulator or if you are using pipes and/or hoses that are not designed for high pressure gas - the pressure in LPG cylinders is much higher than the pressure that most appliances and pipes/hoses can take, with the regulator reducing the pressure that is fed through the pipes/hose to the appliance to a safe level.
  • Always ensure adequate ventilation when using LPG appliances (especially unflued appliances) to allow fresh air for consumption and removal of burnt gases - besides the increased risk of explosion if there's a gas leak in a confined space, the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide given off in the burning process could cause you serious health problems, or even cause you to lose consciousness.
  • If your LPG appliance or burner fails to ignite immediately, turn off the gas supply and ventilate for at least three (3) minutes to allow any gas to disperse before attempting to reignite - failure to do this could lead you to igniting a large pocket of LPG, causing an explosion.
  • Do not connect or disconnect LPG cylinders in the vicinity of a naked flame (20 metres absolute minimum and dependant on wind direction).
  • If outdoors, do not use LPG in windy conditions (ie more than 10km per hour).
  • Do not use undue force to open or close the main cylinder valve as this may damage it and cause a leak - if in doubt about how much force to use, consult the supplier or qualified LPG fitter.
  • Shut off the cylinder valve before disconnecting the cylinder from the appliance.
  • Ensure the appliance or burner is turned off before connecting a new LPG cylinder.
  • Always keep your LPG cylinder cool and away from flames, sparks and direct heat.
  • When operating your LPG cylinder and applicance, always read the manufacturer’s operating instructions as different manufacturers may design their cylinders and appliances to be operated in different ways.
  • LPG appliances must not be connected to other gas supply systems, such as natural gas.
  • If any leakage is detected or suspected from a cylinder, turn it off immediately and REFER TO EMERGENCY PROCEDURES.

Storing LPG cylinders

Store your LPG cylinders outside your home in a well ventilated area that is out of the heat (particularly direct heat) and clear of windows and possible ignition sources.

Your LPG cylinders should preferably be in a lockable cage that prevents others from tampering with them, but allows good ventilation.

Your LPG cylinders should preferably be secured to prevent them falling over or putting pressure on the connections.

If your LPG cylinders are normally refilled where they are stored (as opposed to the cylinders being exchanged/swapped over), ensure a greater distance between your cylinders and windows and possible sources of ignition.

LPG cylinders should be stored upright at all times to ensure the safety valve is not immersed in the LPG liquid.

Do not store or use petrol, other flammable liquids or aerosols near LPG cylinders.

Ensure valves are turned off firmly when not in use.

Pressure relief valves should face away from the building and any combustible materials.

LPG cylinders should have any hoses, hose fittings and regulators removed and a sealing plug attached whenever not connected to an appliance.

Never use an LPG cylinder designated only for storing LPG propane to hold LPG autogas.

Installations in caravans, campervans, other recreational vehicles and boats (vehicles) should comply with any installation code applicable to fixed LPG appliances in your jurisdiction.

LPG cylinder compartments in vehicles should be sealed from the interior of the vehicle and vented to the outside of the vehicle.

LPG cylinder valves should always be closed when the vehicle is in transit - never use any gas appliance, including a gas powered refrigerator, in a moving vehicle unless the appliance and LPG installation is specifically certified for use in a moving vehicle.

Turn off every LPG appliance in a vehicle before refuelling.

Do not use unflued LPG appliances under any circumstances in bedrooms, bathrooms or sleeping annexes.

If any leakage is detected or suspected from an LPG cylinder, fitting or appliance, turn it off immediately and REFER TO EMERGENCY PROCEDURES.

Selecting your LPG appliances

There are many different manufacturers of LPG applicances and models on the market.

Before purchasing, research the available models, the advantages and disadvantages of each (particularly from a safety perspective), including any special needs when being used or installed and if they meet any national standards and regulations in your jurisdiction.

One safety feature that is a must is an automatic shut-off if the applicance falls over, particularly for small appliances that are more susceptible to being knocked over.

This safety feature alone has saved many lives and properties.

Only use appliances and parts specifically manufactured and approved for use with LPG - look for the endorsement badge on every appliance.

LPG appliances must not be connected to other gas supply systems, such as natural gas.

Remember, the cheapest appliance or supplier may not necessarily be the best or safest.

Transporting LPG

LPG cylinders should be transported in a secured, upright position to ensure the safety valve is not immersed in the LPG liquid.

LPG cylinders should have any hoses, hose fittings and regulators removed and a sealing plug attached when being transported.

The cylinders should preferably be carried in the boot or some other compartment that is seperated from the vehicle's cabin.

Do not leave LPG cylinders in a vehicle unnecessarily, particularly on hot days.

Limit the volume of LPG that you transport at any one time so that if there is an accident there will be less chance of the LPG cylinders rupturing and exploding - many jurisdictions limit the volume of LPG that can be transported in a vehicle not certified to carry hazardous materials to no more than 9kg, or two (2) small cylinders at any one time.

If any leakage is detected or suspected from an LPG cylinder,fitting or appliance turn it off immediately and REFER TO EMERGENCY PROCEDURES.

Maintenance of LPG cylinders and appliances

Only use businesses and servicemen who are qualified and licenced to service LPG cylinders and appliances.

Your LPG cylinders should be re-tested and stamped with the date of the test at least every 10 years, or shorter period of time if your local jurisdiction requires it.

Keep LPG appliances and fittings in first class condition via regular servicing, checking regularly for deterioration in performance, signs of corrosion and minor leaks.

Only use equipment and parts specifically manufactured and approved for use with LPG - look for the endorsement badge or label on or with every appliance and part.

If you drop an appliance or LPG cylinder, have it checked by a qualified tradesperson before you use it again - the cylinder or outside of the appliance may look all right, but you are not to know if damage has been done to the seals and valves.

Never use a naked flame to detect a leak.

To check for gas leakage, spray soapy water on any suspect connection, pipe or hose and watch for bubbles - don't use plain water as this is ineffective.

Never tamper with any valves or other LPG cylinder or appliance fittings.

If you have any doubts at all, turn off the gas and have a qualified and licensed gas fitter check your LPG cylinder, valves, connections, hoses, pipes and applicances.

If any leakage is detected or suspected from a cylinder, turn it off immediately and REFER TO EMERGENCY PROCEDURES.


EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Leak suspected - Location Uncertain

  • Check the entire system for ANY indication of gas leak, such as smell or hiss.
  • Test with soapy water solution, which will bubble at any point where gas escapes - this will not work with plain water.
  • NEVER use a match, flame or plain water to test for a leak.
  • If the leak has been indoors, fully ventilate the room before further use of appliance or ANY other electrical device or anything which may produce a spark.
  • Do not interfere with any part of a fixed installation.

Leak Detected - Not on Fire

  • If possible, stop the leak by shutting the cylinder valve.
  • Ventilate the area thoroughly until the air is clear.
  • If it’s not possible to stop the leak, remove the cylinder carefully to a safe outdoor location. Keep the leak uppermost so that only vapour and not liquid escapes.
  • Keep hands and face clear of any stream of escaping liquid and where possible, wear thermally insulated gloves.
  • If the cylinder cannot be removed, disperse gas with fine water spray and provide maximum ventilation.
  • Keep possible ignition sources at least 20 metres away until cylinder is empty. These sources could include open fires, non-flameproof electrical appliances, camera flash, telephone, radio, vehicle engines, and any other equipment that can generate a spark.

Leaking Cylinder or Appliance - On Fire

  • If the valve is undamaged and it’s safe to do so, close it and let the fire go out. Do not use again until inspected.
  • If the valve cannot be closed, call the fire brigade, police or gas dealer, advising location, that it is LPG and cylinder size. Keep cylinder cool by water hose but DO NOT attempt to extinguish flame. Unburnt gases in confined space may explode if reignited.
  • Keep clear and await assistance. The only thing more dangerous than burning gas is unburnt gas because it builds up, creating greater potential for an explosion.
  • If there is any possibility of cylinder(s) being engulfed by fire, evacuate the adjacent area.

Cylinder Exposed to Excessive Heat

  • Keep cylinder cool with a water hose, sprayed from the maximum possible distance.
  • Remove from heat source if safe and possible to do so.

Bushfire/Wildfire Safety Precautions

For many people living in bush or wilderness regions LPG is the only energy source they have. However, many of these regions are also subject to bushfires/wildfires on an almost annual basis.

There are several proven steps you can take which will significantly reduce the chance that you LPG cylinder will ignite and add to the fire.

For any installation, check as follows:

  • Remove flammable materials away from your gas cylinders;
  • Ensure cylinders are upright and secured on a firm base;
  • Ensure the cylinder safety relief valves are directed away from the building and from each other; and
  • Ensure the cylinder valves are easily turned "off".

If a bushfire/wildfire approaches:

  • Turn off all cylinder valves and appliances in the home. Don't forget BBQ / caravan / workshop cylinders;
  • Ring the fire brigade and follow instructions;
  • Leave cylinder in place (do not attempt to disconnect, remove or lay the cylinders on their side); and
  • Spray top of cylinder with water if available, but only while fire is at a safe distance. (This could be done while hosing roof and gutters but is not necessary unless the cylinder(s) are subject to an increase in temperature).

Further LPG safety information

If you're unsure about what is required in your jurisdiction when using and storing LPG or any other fuel, look for your national code or standard and any relevant state regulations.

Your local fire brigade should also be able to assist you with LPG safety advice.

If none of these things exist in your jurisdiction or do not help you, look for guidance from a country that has a good safety record using LPG, or who is actively addressing LPG issues.

Many coutries and organisations publish safety standards and information on the internet. And that is, after all, how you found ImproveYourSecurity.com, isn't it!

Remember, be safe not sorry.

If you detect a strong smell of gas, call your local fire brigade and gasfitter immediately from a safe location.

Share this life saving information with everyone you know. Your participation in this programme will save the lives of many people in the years to come by creating greater public awareness.


INCIDENTS - select case studies of LPG related incidents

There's not nearly enough space here to record all the recent LPG related incidents, let alone how many have occurred over the years.

We have outlined just a few of the more recent LPG related incidents in India to demonstrate not only the dangers of LPG, but also how simple safety precautions could have prevented them.

Thanks to Gas Safe India for providing this information for publication.

Forty-three (43) houses were destroyed in one (1) incident at Narasimha Nagar, India, in September 2010.

Fire officials believe the blast and subsequent fire was caused by either a leak in a kerosene stove or LPG cylinder.

If there was any luck associated with this incident, it was that it happened during the day when most of the residents were at work, minimising the injuries sustained.

However, most of the residents lost everything they had.

An LPG explosion in Chinchwad, India, in July 2010 was caused by an unauthorised gas connection, according to the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).

The HPCL investigation further found that the rubber tube used was of substandard quality and that two (2) pipes may have been improperly joined, all of which were suspected of contributing to the explosion.

The occupants of the house were left unconscious by the explosion.

In October 2010 in the Nava Vadaj area, India, a young couple sustained serious burn injuries when leaking LPG led to an explosion and fire.

The couple went out to watch garba (a form of traditional Indian dance), during which time a leak in the rubber pipe connecting their LPG cylinder to their stove allowed the gas to fill the entire house.

The gas was ignited by a spark when the couple arrived back home, but officials could not be certain what caused the spark in the circumstances, or if the spark was caused by something outside the house.

A powerful explosion which killed one (1), gravely injured four (4) others, destroyed four (4) houses and damaged at least five (5) nearby vehicles in Hingane Khurd, India, in January 2010 was caused by leaking LPG according to the fire brigade.

The person killed, 22 year-old Asmita Pandit, was a talented computer science graduate who was due to start her first job later on the day of the explosion.

The explosion originated in a neighbouring home, ripping off the wall and trapping Asmita and her father under the debris.

Another of the critically injured victims was only nine (9) years-old.

The occupants of the home in which the explosion occurred suffered high degree burns as a result of the subsequent fire, as well as impact injuries caused by flying debris.

The victims from the other homes sustained multiple injuries from flying debris.

A woman from Karvenagar, India, suffered serious burns in May 2010 when the LPG cylinder in her kitchen exploded following a gas leak.

Failing to notice the gas leak, she tried lighting her gas stove, causing the leaked gas to ignite in a massive explosion.

The explosion caused major cracking in the walls and blew out all the windows.

The victim was left in a critical condition by the explosion.

At least 22 people were killed, including a three (3) year-old boy, and ten (10) more injured when a delivery truck carrying LPG cylinders exploded in the southern Philippines in February 2007.

Only the time of day saved more lives from being lost or ruined, with the explosion happening at a time when most peolpe were in their homes.

Five (5) people sustained serious burns when an LPG cylinder ruptured and exploded inside a shop in Dera Bassi, India, in October 2010.

Two (2) people were seriously injured and a double-storeyed house destroyed when an LPG cylinder kept inside the home in Preet Nagar, India, exploded in May 2010.

Don't let you or your family be the next news headlines. Prevention is always better than cure.

 


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