LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is a colorless and odorless liquid. It is a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons, produced from natural gas and oil extraction (66%) and oil refining (34%). Furthermore, it is readily evaporated into gas. To detect leaks, this type of matter contains an odorant.
LPGs can either be Butane or Propane; manufacturers store it and they generally distribute it in its liquid state.
LPG cylinders are much more energy efficient and versatile. It is considered highly advantageous, beneficial, and well liked compared to other sources of energy such as fossil fuels or natural gas,
LPG is also convenient to store and procure besides being economical. We use LPG almost everywhere from houses to different businesses and establishments.
Its greatest strengths are its resourcefulness and versatility with over numerous different uses like the following:
1. The most common domestic uses:
2. Motor fuel (Autogas) in your vehicle to lower your transport costs;
4. It is used in hot air balloons
5. It is used in leisure time activities including
- Recreational vehicles and;
6. Businesses and industries use LPG for a multitude of processes including
- Steam boilers,
- Ovens and;
- LPG forklifts
7. In addition to that, some also use them as:
- Vehicle fuel and;
- Petrochemical feedstock.
8. Some agricultural applications for LPG:
- Crop and produce drying
- Heating greenhouses
- Hot water for dairies
- Irrigation pumps and;
- Heating animal enclosures
9. Industrial heating
11. Power Generation
12. Hospitality Industry
Even if most industries and even domestic houses use it, it is still hazardous. Moreover, it is classified as highly flammable and if it contains more than 0.1% Butadiene, it is also classified as a carcinogen and mutagen.
LPG is non-corrosive but can dissolve lubricants, certain plastics, or synthetic rubbers.
In conclusion, LPG tanks can cause unimaginable damage if it’s not attended to properly; even the lives of people around it can be affected.
It has been a fact that there are distinguished cases of fire from faulty or defective cylinders or LPG tanks.
In order to secure our homes from this disaster we should use LPG in line with protective measures and know some safety tips in using LPG tanks:
1. Purchase your LPG tanks from authorized dealers. These authorized dealers are regulated and follow strict safety and refilling standards set by the industry and the Department of Energy (DOE).
2. When buying LPG tanks, always ask for a receipt to guarantee that you are buying from an authorized retailer and avoid buying an unbranded LPG cylinder. The tank is always marked with the name of the company who sold it.
3. Store LPGs in adequate locations where vessels or cylinders are in a proper and safe position.
4. Make sure that the cylinder is in good condition. You must check for excessive rustiness and dents at the bottom part every now and then. It is important never to accept an under-filled or defective cylinder. You can always have it weighed in authorized resellers. You must be able to choose a cylinder that is clean and free from any defects.
5. If you are not knowledgeable enough on how to install an LPG, contact a technician or a person aware enough to install it. Do not tamper with or try to repair the cylinder yourself; including removing the hose connection from the stove or regulator.
6. Your gas stove must always be dirt free so clean it frequently and always ensure the condition of the LPG hose. If there are cracks in your hose you have to replace it immediately.
7. Check your cylinder for leaks by applying soap solution. Never look for a leak near an open flame. In case of leakage, do not panic and compose your mind. Make sure that all electrical appliances are off. Do not turn on or turn off any electrical appliances in the kitchen if you think that there is a leak; put out all flames, lights, and turn off the LPG regulator. After switching off the regulator, immediately put on the Safety Cap on the cylinder. Keep all the windows and doors open to ensure ventilation. However, do not switch on electric fans or exhaust fans for this purpose. Afterwards, get in touch with your dealer at the earliest.
8. Constantly observe that the cylinder is in an open location; meaning, the cylinder should be able to breathe (well-ventilated). Furthermore, do not enclose the cylinder in a cabinet; nor keep it at the same level as the gas stove.
9. Make sure that the cylinder is vertical in position. Ensure that gas leaks do not concentrate at one spot.
10. Make sure to handle LPG cylinders in an upright position, never inverted or laid horizontally.
11. Make sure that the safety cap is on and there before you take the LPG cylinder inside your home.
12. Retain the safety cap with a nylon thread attached to the cylinder and fix the cap on the valve to stop it from leaking, or if a burner does not connect to it.
13. You should never install cylinders near heat sources or other elements that could trigger it.
14. Make sure that the regulator used is the same diameter as the cylinder valve. Furthermore, always ensure that it’s in its “off” function when it’s not in use.
15. Do not keep any other fuel like kerosene next to the LPG cylinder.
16. Do not manually try to transfer the gas from one cylinder to another because this could lead to gas leaks.
17. You could install gas detectors in the kitchen. These could raise an alarm in case of a leak.
18. Always examine and check the color of the flames; it must be blue and not yellow.
19. Lastly, if possible, keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of an emergency. Although it is quite expensive, it can be a life-saver if in any case emergencies occur.
Fire incidents have advanced through the years and their causes have become varied with the various kinds of fuel available. In addition, it is important that people are aware of safety measures when handling LPG cylinders at home.
With these simple safety measures, we can prevent and reduce incidents like the fire from LPG tanks in our homes. Always remember that prevention is better than cure and it should always come first. We should always stay vigilant because we all know the fact that accidents can happen any time.
An LPG cylinder has always been an essential part of our homes and it’s a no-brainer that it has made life easy for us. The obligation of preventing an accident and staying safe depends on us. Meaning, our security is dependent on us and our actions. So to conclude, by using these few simple measures, we’re confident that we can avoid catastrophic incidents and we can be sure that our houses are accident-free.
Few relevant points to remember:
A. If in any case you’re planning to have a fire extinguisher, learn how to use it properly. The smallest fire extinguishers only last for 10-15 seconds.
- A QUICK TIP: When you’re using a fire extinguisher, sweep it from left to right to maximize its efficiency. Spraying it in one spot won’t neutralize or extinguish the fire because fire spreads fast.
B. In emergency cases, estimate if water is your friend. You might commit the mistake by pouring water over fire which causes the fire to grow more and bigger. Furthermore, the following can extinguish fire:
- If you’re going to use water, pour water on the embers or the sources of the fire.
- Baking Soda is one good fire-killer.
- Salt can also be used to extinguish fire.
- In addition to those, always keep a pot of sand or soil in the kitchen because they can put out a fire as well.
C. If the flames are from pots or pans, putting a lid on can minimize it; it can even put the fire out.
D. Never leave the LPGs on if you’re using it. Any external element that comes near it can instantly trigger it.
Being safe is definitely better than being sorry. Follow the guidelines above and for sure, you’ll keep a warm, safe, and beautiful home.
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