Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Working with Gas
It is important for everyone to learn more about natural gas. The more we know the safer we will all be.
Benefits of working with Gas/LPG
There are numerous advantages to using LPG:
- Gives you an instant cooking flame.
- Is easy and instantaneous to light.
- Is easy to control. The blue flame is visible and its size is easily controlled over a wide range so that the required rate of heating can be obtained.
- When burning correctly it is non-poisonous and safe to use.
- Burns cleanly and does not produce any soot, smoke or smell during combustion, therefore leaving your kitchen clean.
- Is pure, and very consistent in quality.
- Adds to your comfort because cooking is quick and the kitchen does not get heated as with other fuels like wood or charcoal.
- Is compatible with many different appliances and easy to maintain. Is used in many different sectors, i.e. domestic, commercial, industrial, and agricultural.
Risks associated with Gas
Even though considered stable and safe, LPG still possesses a certain degree of danger, just like any type of fuel. The most common types of hazards associated with the use of it include explosions, fire and inhaling carbon monoxide.
The source of these risks usually are:
- poor hose connections
- damaged or corroded cylinders/Inadequate maintenance
- placing a cylinder near a source of heat
- incorrect storage of the cylinder.
When gas does not burn properly or is used in an area without adequate ventilation, it produces excess carbon monoxide (CO) – a colourless, odourless gas. When inhaled, carbon monoxide binds to the haemoglobin in the blood. This reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, starving the body of oxygen and poisoning it.
This could lead to:
- In extreme cases, death [Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill within a matter of hours.]
- Tiredness/ Drowsiness
- Nausea and chest and stomach pains.
- Collapsing and loss of consciousness