Gas cylinder: Between its usage and safety

in StemSocial3 months ago

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced fire outbreak due to gas cylinder explosion would have known that accidents involving gas cylinders can be brutal and may result to death, most times when people, especially the victims of fire outbreak as a result of gas cylinder explosion narrate how careful one should be when using gas cylinder, the thought of mandating everyone using it to first learn all its intricacies usually come to mind because it always looks scary, in fact, I have heard of a number of people who have either died or incapacitated due to fire outbreak via gas cylinder explosion.

I could remember the incident which happened in my area recently, I almost made up my mind that I will stop using it, then the thought of how my wife will feel came to mind, after all, we all have got used to it.

My late father of blessed memory used to prevent his tenants from using gas cylinder for cooking, although so he later succumbed to their pressure.


Repsol, Flickr

Physical features of Gas cylinder

A gas cylinder is a pressure vessel which is used to store gases at above atmospheric pressure. the stored gas cylinder contents can be in a state of vapor over liquid, compressed gas, supercritical fluid and may be a dissolved in a substrate material, it is usually determine by the physical features of the stored contents.

As shown in the above picture, a typical and most common gas cylinders we use in our various homes is an elongated metal of various sizes, it usually stands upright with flat bottom along with valve and its fitting at the upper most of the cylinder, for connection to the stove. Gas cylinder is of various sizes like 1kg, 2kg, 3kg, 4kg, 5kg, 6kg, 7kg,8kg, 9kg, 10kg, 11kg and 12kg

Cooking gas cylinders are usually made from durable metal materials of high resistant to heat, high pressures and harsh environmental conditions. They usually store gases for a very long period of time without gas leakage, explosion or any unwarranted default. They have high resistance to corrosion and mechanical impacts.

Gas cylinder usage

Gas cylinders are mostly used to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas usually called "cooking gas". Although we are considering its usage here in terms of cooking, it can also be used for something else like heating, lighting and refrigerating.

Research has revealed the fact that the gas is a good alternative to electricity. It is non- toxic with dirt free burning and pollution free. The size to choose mostly depends on the intended usage. smaller sizes are use at home for cooking while the larger sizes are mostly use at industries to supply energy.

some of its major use include:

  • For heating and cooking;
  • For chemical processes
  • For water treatment
  • For soldering, welding and flame cutting;
  • For medical and laboratory uses;
  • For breathing (e.g. diving, emergency rescue);
  • For dispensing beverages;
  • For extinguishing fires;
  • For fuel for vehicles.

Gas cylinder like 1kg, 3kg and 6 kg are recommended to be put inside the kitchen while large sizes starting from 12kg and above are recommended to be put outside the kitchen where it can easily be disposed off in case of explosion without affecting other materials things in the house.


Gas cylinder safety and precaution

Most of the incidents with gas cylinder usually occur during its handling and movement from one spot to the other.

Two types of hazards have been associated with its usage:

  1. Storage and handling hazard: This has to do with the storage, handling and interacting with the content (compressed gas cylinders). The chemical menace related to the cylinder contents like toxic, flammable, corrosive etc.

  2. The physical hazard: This is ensured by the presence of a high pressure vessel. According to the Health and Safety Executive in June 2004, it is a legitimate term that usually used to cover a various types of pressure receptacle including cryogenic receptacle, pressure, tube, drum, bundle of cylinders and cylinders themselves with the valves fitted directly to the receptacle.

However, the following are summarized to be the main hazards:

  • An incident from the blast of a gas cylinder explosion or a rapid release of compressed gas

  • The influence of falling cylinders

  • The influence of any parts of gas cylinders or failed valves or any flying debris

  • Contact or connection with the released gas or fluid (such as chlorine);

  • An occurence of fire resulting from the escape of flammable gases or fluids.

The main causes of accidents are summarized below:

  • Accident due to a faulty equipment e.g. badly fitted valves and regulators
  • Accident due to inadequate and proper training and supervision
  • Accident due to poor settings or installation
  • Accident due to poor examination and maintenance practice
  • Accident due to poor handling
  • Accident due to poor storage
  • Accident due to inadequately ventilated working conditions
  • Accident due to incorrect filling procedures
  • Accident due to hidden damage.

All the listed above are also some of the precautions we should try to avoid when dealing with our gas cylinders.

Thanks for reading and I do hope you have gained one or two things related to gas cylinders usage and safety.


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Good information, indeed there are few gas cylinder accidents, but when they occur they are of great impact and with numerous victims.

Eexactly @cryptoxicate! At times, the effect is worrisome.

The danger is one of those risks that come with the ease that technology provides. We need to be more aware and conscious of our environment more than ever, not just about gas cylinders but all our gadgets.

Exactly @hadji . Good to see you here!

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