Stay Safe and Prevent a Gas Leak

By Karla Ortiz

Gas is a product that you use in everyday life. Whether you use a cylinder or a stationary tank, it needs to be taken care of and maintained to prevent accidents.

LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is the mixture of propane and butane gases that are present in crude oil and natural gas. Normally it has no odor. In the production process Methyl Mercaptano, a toxic, colorless, and flammable gas, is added with a characteristic odor so that people can identify it immediately.

It is important to check your stationary tanks or cylinders gas as a routine activity. Here are some points that can help you keep your gas tank in good shape:

  • Use soapy water to clean the tank and check the installation for leaks. Check pipes, hoses, and connections.
  • Use Teflon tape on the connections to prevent leaks.
  • Replace hoses that are bent or about to break, as well as damaged regulators.
  • Use only coflex hoses and copper or galvanized steel pipeline. (Never use plastic hoses.)
  • Cylinders should be placed at least three meters away from the stove or boiler and should be in open, ventilated areas.
  • Keep plastic bags, wooden or cardboard boxes, and thread, etc. away from gas tanks.
  • If you’re going to leave your home or business, make sure the stove and boiler keys are locked tightly. In case of a long season, it is best to close the keys from the gas tank.

No matter what company you buy your gas from, for no reason should you be given old, dented cylinders, repaired with poorly made welding, with the base deformed, with the key or head broken. If they are, do not accept them. Make sure they have a protective collar, safety plastic tape, and a key in good condition.

“We check that the cylinders are in good condition. If we detect any damaged cylinders, we immediately ask you to remove them. And in conjunction with municipal traffic, check the physical condition of the transport vehicles. Ensure that they have the stamp for carrying the dangerous material visible, that they have anti-static tape on the hoses to avoid any sparks, and that they carry their rubber hammer and wooden stakes. We check the braking system. The training personnel in the gas stations must certify the vehicles,” said Alan Álvarez Flores, Director of the Municipal Civil Protection Unit.

In the case of stationary tanks, it is essential to maintain them so their useful life can be up to 10 years.

  • Check that the gas company provides only 85 percent of your tank capacity.
  • Place the tank on a high, ventilated surface, protected from the sun and rain and away from power lines
  • Don’t keep it at ground level for any reason. “The stationary tanks should be at least 10 or 11 meters apart, and we recommend that they are on the rooftops,” said Alan Álvarez.
  • For safety reasons, the main valves should be replaced every three to five years.
  • In the installation, place the supply pipelines in visible places and paint them yellow (as indicated by the standard).

 

In case of gas odor or leakage:

  • Close the stopcock of the stationary tank or cylinder.
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate the room.
  • Don’t light matches, cigarettes or sources that generate sparks.
  • Don’t turn on lights or other electrical appliances, as their operation generates imperceptible sparks that can cause the start of combustion.
  • If hoses or pipes are damaged, call a specialist. Don’t try to fix them by yourself.
  • Evacuate the area as a precautionary measure.
  • Report immediately to emergency telephone numbers (911).
  • Don’t return to the area until you are instructed to do so by the authorities.

Don’t forget to review the Family Civil Protection Plan that the Government of Guanajuato recommends you follow to raise awareness and inform all families about how to act before, during and after a disaster or emergency.

Enter this link and check all Civil Protection recommendations: seguridad.guanajuato.gob.mx/proteccion-civil/

Civil Protection has offered personalized advisory to families, so that each member knows the alternative routes to get out, where the gas is turned off or where the light goes out, that everyone knows the role they must play.

“I invite to all to approach the Civil Protection Unit. We have our area of training and dissemination always open for anyone who wants to learn or know about any subject of protection, we also have the area of inspections for people who have any questions in electrical or gas installations. I make the civil protection telephone number available to citizens so that they can approach us 152 8964”, concluded Alan Álvarez.

 

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