Safety tips to avert gas explosions

“Consumers are advised to only purchase appliances that have a permit verification number displayed on them.”

Image for illustration only. Photo: Pixabay

Gas explosions are unpredictable and more often than not result in death.

The most recent one was a 30-year-old woman who died after an explosion in her Capital Park home in the Moot area.

It was said she sustained burn wounds over her whole body.

The Liquid Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa (LPGSASA) has offered safety tips.

According to the association failure to closely follow appliance safety guidelines can be harmful.

“Consumers are advised to only purchase appliances that have a permit verification number displayed on them,” LPGSASA said.

LPGSASA and the Southern African Gas Association (Saga) have established the Safe Appliance Scheme (SAS) and the Safe Gas Equipment Scheme (SGES) to ensure that all appliances and equipment installed in South Africa have been tested and are in compliance with the relevant South African safety standards and are fit for intended use.”

They added that equipment not manufactured to standard could be hazardous.

LPGSASA said winter was peak time for LPGas consumption as the need to keep warm was immense.

“As a result, the potential for fire-related incidents increases as many of us use our heaters.”

They offered the following safety precautions when using an LPGas heater:

– Always read and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully.

– Always turn your heater off at the cylinder valve before going to bed or leaving the room or your property – in fact, at any time when the heater is not in use.

– Ensure all the components of your unit are well maintained – the heater, regulator, hose and hose connections.

– When changing the cylinder, first close the cylinder valve and then remove the regulator.

– Always check that the rubber “O-ring” (washer) on the end of the regulator is not worn, brittle or damaged in any way. Replace it if it is.

– Test any gas appliance or heater for possible leaks by spraying a soap and water solution on all connections. Leaks will show in the form of bubbles and must be repaired immediately.

– Do not use aerosols or flammable cleaning liquids or sprays close to the heater.

– Avoid sitting or standing too close to your heater – a safe distance would be about 1 metre.

– Always ensure that the room in use is ventilated so that there is a continuous supply of fresh air (oxygen).

– Ensure that your heater is positioned away from any flammable materials and is not blocking any escape route.

– Never place clothes or other items on or near your heater.

– Do not move your unit while it is in use.

– Educate children on the safe use of gas appliances and never leave them without supervision in a room where an appliance is located.

– If you suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas cylinder immediately and, if possible, take the heater outside.

– Only use LP gas appliances that are permitted to be sold in South Africa.

– Have your heater serviced regularly.


Infographic: Felicia Nkhwashu

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