Fire Safety: LPG Cause Fires

Fire safety is one of the most important considerations in residences and restaurants, especially where LPG, or Liquefied Petroleum Gas, is the fuel of choice.  This is because there is always the threat of fire breaking out and explosions occurring wherever LPG is used. LPG is specifically dangerous because it is used in pressurized form. Where LPG is used in a restaurant, suppression systems for kitchens are recommended to prevent any fires from breaking out.

LPG is used in two basic ways: in individual pressurized tanks and through centralized tubing running from the source to the destination. In both instances, a leak can occur due to several reasons. Once a leak occurs the flammable gas may be ignited by an open flame from a lighter or the stove top itself. For closed spaces with poor ventilation, a buildup of LPG increases the risk of ignition.

Cylinders of Liquified petroleum gas

Cylinders of Liquified petroleum gas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LPG on the Way

In transit, LPG is transported in large tank trucks which can carry a large amount. During a trip, any accident is particularly dangerous because of the amount of LPG and the higher incidence of possible ignition occurrences. An overturned truck that produces sparks is one of the major threats that may happen.

The danger increases greatly when the accident occurs in a crowded area such as the middle of homes or offices. When this happens, the area needs to be vacated as fast as possible, and any liquid leaks should be quickly contained. In the event of a fire already happening, the fire should be extinguished with the proper method then the source of the leak covered.

An Ounce of Prevention

Fire safety is achieved mostly with prevention. The equipment used in the handling and utilization of LPG has to be of sufficient quality. These all have to pass quality control inspection to minimize leakage. These include the tanks themselves, tubes, fixtures, valves, gaskets, and other parts of the system.

New parts and systems should be expected to weaken after a period of time. This means that part of fire safety and prevention also means regular inspection. When inspection shows any part to have deteriorated, immediate replacement should be made.

Preventive Information

Aside from making sure that the equipment is in good working condition, fire safety also includes training people for proper handling and maintenance. Procedures should be designed in coordination with fire safety professionals to minimize the risk. This may include procedures such as turning off valves and fixtures to limit LPG flow and possibly periodic checking. This will also include troubleshooting procedures when there is suspected leak. For indoor locations, good ventilation is a must. When a leak occurs, one needs to make sure the area is vented to allow build up to escape. Any possible ignition source should be prevented and fire safety professionals should be summoned.

No to Aggressive Ignorance

One of the biggest causes for the absence of fire safety is lack of information and discipline. A lot of people, firefighters included, are put in danger by unnecessarily taking risks. As firefighting methods and technology changes, the most important element is still attitude and information.

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