Gas cylinder leaks can be extremely scary both at home and at work, once a person senses its smell, panic sets in because the slightest of flames can spark an explosion. That is why the need of a gas detector in an industrial setting cannot be overemphasized. It is easy to recognize a gas leak due to its powerful, pungent odour, But other times these leaks may not be detected with your nostrils, that is why you will most likely install electronic gas leak sensors in your house or facility.
What is a gas cylinder?
A gas cylinder is a pressure vessel for storage and containment of gases at above atmospheric pressure. High-pressure gas cylinders are also called bottles. Inside the cylinder the stored contents may be in a state of compressed gas, vapor over liquid, supercritical fluid, or dissolved in a substrate material, depending on the physical characteristics of the contents.
A typical gas cylinder design is elongated, standing upright on a flattened bottom end, with the valve and fitting at the top for connecting to the receiving apparatus. Gas cylinders have a stop angle valve at the end on top. During storage, transportation, and handling when the gas is not in use, a cap may be screwed over the protruding valve to protect it from damage or breaking off in case the cylinder were to fall over. Instead of a cap, cylinders commonly have a protective collar or neck ring around the service valve assembly.
What you should do in case of a gas leak
The smallest spark or flame can ignite gas fumes and cause an explosion, so here are the mild steps you should take:
- When a gas leak is suspected, extinguish all flames, incense sticks, etc.
- Close the LPG regulator and put the safety cap on the cylinder.
- Do not light matches (or a lighter).
- Do not switch on/off any electrical switches or appliances.
- Open the doors and windows to ventilate your house.
- Isolate main electrical supply from the outside.
- Call your gas supplier or the fire department.
In the case where the gas leak is a major one, notify people for evacuation and call emergency lines in your area. Do not play the hero.
- If inhaled, move the person to a place where he/she can breathe some fresh air. Let him/her rest in a position that is comfortable, and if necessary, you can administer artificial respiration.
- If there has been skin contact with the gas, immediately remove the contaminated clothing. Rinse the affected skin with plenty of water for more than 20 minutes and seek medical help.
- In case of eye contact rinse the eye and the eyelid immediately with plenty of water for more than 20 minutes. Remove contact lenses, if any. Continue rinsing and seek medical help.
- The fire from a gas explosion can be extinguished with carbon dioxide (CO2), dry chemical powder or water spray. Using a water jet and aiming water directly at the point where gas is escaping is not recommended as the water may freeze. Also, all sources of ignition and flammable objects should be removed from the area. For the safety of people, they should be evacuated from the area as soon as possible.
Here is a major precaution that may be possibly overlooked.
The cylinders often contain a residual amount of gas. Do not attempt to remove gas from a cylinder before disposal because it can result in fire, injury or even death. When a cylinder is no longer needed, return it to your local dealer. The dealers will be able to safely recover the remaining gas or purge the cylinder.
For further information contact GZ Industrial Supplies for quality products, services, inquiries and procurement or visit any of our offices close to you.