Detecting Gas Leaks and Emergency Steps.

GAS LEAK & SAFETY RESPONSE

The smell of gas is never a good sign. Leaks can develop in the Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) equipment  and this could result in fire or explosions. In order to detect its presence and prevent hazards from buildup of propane gas, an odorant (almost always ethyl mercaptan) is added to liquid LP-Gas. This odorant is a clear liquid with a distinctive odour.

As staff members in an LPG plant should be trained to recognise this smell and respond as thus;

  1. Immediately evacuate the area
  2. Shut off the propane tank supply valve if possible
  3. Call your LPG gas supplier and fire service department from a place of safety

The odour patterns can be altered by a multitude of reasons and it takes training to understand them. For instance, the strongest odour may be near the floor due to floor-to-ceiling concentration differences. Respiratory conditions, age, environmental conditions, medication, smoking, or use of drugs and alcohol may also affect the ability to detect odours.

Here’s what to do if you suspect a leak:
  • If you smell any odour or hear any noise (other than a soft whoosh-whoosh) around your meter, stay calm
  • Don’t turn on lights or use naked flames, don’t turn electrical devices on or off including mobile phones
  • Alert others in the house and proceed to evacuate immediately
  • Windows and doors should be opened to help disperse the leak
  • Move away from the suspected leak and call your gas company and your local fire department
  • Give your location to emergency responders and provide the facts

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