India is perhaps home to the most number of LPG users in the world, with a majority of the country’s population using it to cook meals every day. While there are areas where people still rely on the traditional “Chulha” to cook, this is slowly changing, thanks to the PAHAL programme implemented by the government. Given the massive numbers, it is not uncommon for accidents to occur, but gas agencies have taken steps to minimise and prevent LPG related accidents. While these steps have reduced such instances, the onus lies on us to ensure that our homes are safe at all times.
LPG Installation Safety Tips
Following a few simple safety measures can ensure that our LPG cylinder does the job it’s meant to, without adding to the existing pressure in our lives. Listed below are a few standard safety measures which each individual should incorporate in his/her life when it comes to dealing with LPG cylinders.
LPG Installation Safety Tips while Connecting a Cylinder
We are not experts at handling LPG cylinders, which is why we need to be extra careful each time we connect the gas hose to the cylinder. Here are a few steps which can keep us protected.
- Check that the cylinder doesn’t have any defects. Weigh it to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with.
- Ensure that the safety cap is on the cylinder.
- Remove the safety cap by pulling the cord that it is attached with.
- Lift the safety cap and attach the regulator to the cylinder.
- Make sure that the regulator’s knob is off. The On and Off position will be mentioned on the regulator.
- Hold the regulator and pull the plastic bush cap at the bottom.
- Gently put the regulator on the valve. Push it gently and turn.
- The plastic bush can now be released. Press it after this.
- Ensure you hear a ‘click’ sound. In case you do not hear it please try and connect it again.
- Once this is done, the regulator is successfully locked to the cylinder.
Safety Steps to Follow while Disconnecting the LPG Cylinder
A typical family would go through a regular, 14.2 kg cylinder in about a month or so. This means that you will have to change the cylinder on a monthly basis. While people accustomed to this might not find an issue, it is safer to follow these simple steps while disconnecting your cylinder.
- Ensure that the stove is off, with no active flames.
- Double check to see if the burner knobs on the stove are closed.
- Switch off the regulator knob.
- Hold the regulator and pull the plastic bush at the bottom.
- Now lift up the regulator. You might have to gently turn it a bit.
- Once the regulator is removed from the valve ensure that you plug it with the safety cap.
- Empty cylinder should be kept in an open area to avoid chance of any leak of residual gas.
How to Safely Light the LPG Burner
One can use the gas burner once the cylinder is connected safely. Here are a few basic safety tips to ensure accidents don’t happen while using the burner.
- The switch knob can be turned in an anti-clockwise position to release the gas from the regulator.
- In case of traditional stoves you will have to bring a matchstick/lighter close to the burner.
- In case of traditional stoves you will have to turn the knob of the burner to switch it on.
- The burner will automatically generate a flame when you turn on the knob in an automatic burner stove.
- Turn off the stove knob after using.
- Rotate the regulator switch knob clockwise after this.
Safety Steps to Follow in Case there is a Gas Leakage
In the event of a gas leak one should keep these safety tips in mind.
- Stay calm. Do not panic.
- Turn off the burner knobs.
- Ensure that all flames are extinguished.
- Do not turn on any electrical appliance or matchsticks/lighters.
- Ensure that you turn off the gas supply. You can do this by turning the regulator switch in the clockwise direction.
- Let the leaked gas escape the kitchen by opening all doors and windows. Ensure there is sufficient ventilation.
- Contact your gas agency and report the incident. Request them to send experts to check the same.
- Remove the regulator and close the cylinder using the safety cap.
- Ensure that you take the cylinder to an open place. Keep it there until experts arrive.
Additional Safety Tips for LPG Gas Cylinder Connection, Gas Leakage...
Being safe never hurt anybody. Here are a few more safety tips you can remember in order to prevent accidents.
- Replace worn-out rubber tubes regularly. Ensure that you purchase tubes which have an ISI mark. Do not continue using old tubes as they could result in gas leaks.
- Do not use any synthetic materials in the kitchen. These are highly inflammable.
- Ensure that you store your cylinder in a location which does not have electrical appliances nearby.
- In case you wish to check if there is an actual gas leak you can place your finger on the valve. If there is a leak your finger will feel the pressure of the gas.
- Do not keep the burner knob open while you try to find a matchstick/lighter.
- Keep the contact number of your gas agency at hand.
- Do not throw the safety cap which comes with the cylinder.
- You can use a solution of soap to check for body leaks.
- Ensure that you do not leave anything on the gas. Contents could overflow, extinguishing the flame and giving rise to leaks.
- Do not try to diagnose and fix a problem by yourself. Always seek expert help.
- Do not let kids near the gas cylinder. Ensure it is kept in a safe location.
- Have an exhaust fan above the stoves. This could help dispense of gas leaks.
- Do not keep the gas regulator on 24/7. Use it only when you need to cook. Switch it off at all other times.
- Ensure that you can see the gas hose. Keeping it hidden could prevent you from seeing the actual damage.
- Ensure that the kitchen does not have curtains, for these could catch fire if they blow over the burner.
- Use equipment designed for use in the kitchen. Do not experiment with DIY equipment.
- Get regular servicing done.
- The gas hose comes with an expiry date. Change it before it reaches this stage.
- Never buy gas from the black market.
- Do not try to fill gas from different cylinders.
- Remember to stay calm at all times.
Life without LPG cylinders is hard to imagine, and while a number of companies offer piped gas directly to our homes, most of the country relies on LPG cylinders. Keeping a few simple safety steps in mind can ensure that untoward incidents are prevented.
Mandatory Gas Safety Checks Before and After LPG Installation
Consumers rarely read the instructions that come with a product or service. The same goes for LPG consumers who are baffled when an LPG agent demands Rs.150 for performing mandatory safety checks on their LPG connections. Gas Safety checks have to be done before and after the installation of an LPG connection. It is mandatory for the gas agencies to carry out the safety check once every 2 years. The stove is checked to ensure it’s in proper working condition, and the hose is checked for any leakage. An official from the Oil Ministry said that the gas agencies have been instructed to educate consumers about the mandatory gas safety checks before dispatching an LPG agent to a consumer’s home.
28th December 2016