Majority of people using cooking gas don’t know that their Gas Cylinders have expiry dates, they don’t even know when the gas cylinders will expire, these effects may lead to explosion, see more below.
In this article I will explain to you why all these happens, due to ignorance and not checking on the gas cylinders, these might be as a result of leakage.
There have been so many reported cases of gas cylinder explosions and when this happens, so many lives and properties worth millions in the incident, this calls for concern.
How does a Gas Cylinder Explosion Occurs?
A gas explosion occurs when there is a gas leakage, combined with an ignition source. A variety of explosive gases exist, including methane, propane, natural gas, and butane. These gases are widely used throughout the world for heating purposes. See how to check and know your gas cylinder expiry date below.
Over the years, thousands of people have been killed in gas explosions, and many of these tragic events have occurred while one is cooking or the cylinders are stored in unsafe environment.
According to a State Coordinator, Standard Organization of Nigeria [SON], “If a cylinder of 12kg explodes, it is capable of bringing down a two storey building. Cooking gas cylinders must not exceed five (5) years.” According to the SON Director, most people using gas cylinders hardly remember when it was bought. Once you discover that your gas cylinder has expired, stop using it in order to avoid explosion.
Often, during the coldest seasons of the year, we hear of gas explosions where an entire family is killed as a result of a faulty gas heater or leak in the gas lines.
Major Causes of Gas Cylinder Explosion
Listed below are a few major causes of gas explosion, which are:
- Improper use of gas furnace, stove, or appliance, including leaking due to gas lines being hooked up incorrectly
- Old, worn-out, rusty gas lines coming from the street into your home
- Defective equipment, including gas grills, acetylene torches, and other equipment that uses gas as a power or fuel source
- Violations of codes and standards governing the safe handling of gas or propane
- Faulty manufacturing procedures used in building gas tanks for automobiles
In which situations LPG cylinder can blast?
Firstly, a gas leak from the cylinder or regulator gets mixed with air, forming a combustible mixture. To complete the fire triangle we need a spark or a source of ignition. This spark ignites the combustible LPG-air mixture and this leads to an explosion.
This is the process to verify the expiry date of the LPG cylinder
The expiry date of cooking gas cylinder can be found on one of the metal strips that connect the body of the cylinder to top ring (handle). It is printed or pasted on the inner side of the strip, alphabets from A to D is painted on it along with a number. The process of decoding the expiry date is very simple. The alphabet A, B, C, D represents the month it will expire while the number beside it indicates the year the gas cylinder will expire.
A year is divided into four quarters which are:
A – January to March
B – April to June
C – July to September
D – October to December
The letters represent the month of expiry while the number indicates the year of expiry.
For example, if a cylinder has ‘B 20′ printed on the metal strip. The letter B represents month June, and 20 indicates the year 2020. So a cylinder having B 20 mentioned on it means it will expire in June 2020.
After the expiry date, a gas cylinder has a grace period of 3 – 4 months because the cylinder cannot be extracted immediately out of the circulation. There have been several reports on how distributors tamper with the expiry date because they are written with paint. When next you buy or receive a gas cylinder, make sure you check the expiry date and stay safe.
How to prevent Gas Cylinder Explosion
- Keep the gas knob out of reach for children when not using.
- Make sure that the kitchen or cooking area is well ventilated for a good flow of air in case of a gas leak.
- Educate people around you on gas cylinder safety measures and how to use and handle gas cylinders.
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