Handling gas cylinders safely is crucial to prevent accidents and ensure the well-being of individuals and households.
Gas cylinder accidents are generally rare in Kenya but when they do happen, they are mostly lethal. With that said, we should be extra careful when dealing with gas cylinders especially, if you bought them from an authorized dealer.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when handling gas cylinders in Kenya:
- Poor storage: One of the most common mistakes is storing gas cylinders inappropriately. Cylinders should be stored in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, ignition sources, and flammable materials. It’s important to keep them upright and secure to prevent tipping or falling.
- Inadequate inspection: Regularly inspect gas cylinders for any signs of damage, such as dents, rust, or corrosion. Cylinders that are damaged or past their expiry date should not be used and should be properly disposed of or exchanged.
- Improper transportation: When transporting gas cylinders, ensure they are properly secured in an upright position. Avoid leaving them in a hot vehicle or exposing them to extreme temperatures. Keep windows open for ventilation if transporting in a closed vehicle.
- Incorrect installation: When connecting or disconnecting a gas cylinder, ensure the valve is closed properly and the connection is tight. Use appropriate tools and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Never use excessive force or improvised tools.
- Lack of awareness about leaks: Always check for gas leaks before using a cylinder. Apply soapy water or a leak detection solution around the connections, and if bubbles form, there is a leak. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the smell of gas so you can detect any leaks by scent.
- Inadequate ventilation: Gas cylinders should only be used in well-ventilated areas. Ensure there is proper airflow to prevent the accumulation of gas, which can be hazardous.
- Using cylinders for unintended purposes: Gas cylinders should only be used for their intended purpose, such as cooking or heating. Avoid using them for other purposes, such as heating water for bathing, as it can be dangerous.
- Neglecting safety equipment: It is important to have appropriate safety equipment, such as a fire extinguisher and a gas leak detector, readily available in case of emergencies. Make sure you know how to use them effectively.
- Lack of knowledge: Ensure that household members are educated about the proper handling and safety procedures related to gas cylinders. This includes knowing how to turn off the gas supply in case of emergencies.