Gas leak – The Right Safety Response

A possible gas explosion caused by a gas leak was prevented in the early hours of Wednesday 3rd of November 2021 at Computer Village, Lagos. It was said to have been caused as a result of road construction and rehabilitation activities in the area.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited isolated the leaking pipeline in some areas in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital in Nigeria. The corporation also revealed that a team of maintenance engineers in collaboration with the Gaslink team were at the site to ensure that gas supply services to areas affected by the incident resume within the next 48 hours. The corporation said it took the measures to allay fears and avert a tragedy that could have resulted from the gas leak that occurred in the area.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had also in the early hours of Wednesday morning, raised a distressed alarm warning residents to shut down their shops in the affected areas which included the popular computer village. The state-owned corporation said, “The NNPC Ltd hereby informs the general public, especially those living within the Anifowoshe area of Ikeja in Lagos State, that a gas pipeline that was reported leaking in the early hours of today has been isolated and the general area cordoned off.

Dangers of a gas leak 

In addition to increasing the chances of a flammable explosion, a gas leak can also threaten the long-term health and safety of those in a workplace or the surrounding neighborhood. Some of the main symptoms of gas poisoning include breathing difficulties, dizziness, nosebleeds, and ringing in the ears. 

We must have adequate gas detection systems in your workplace that are well maintained and potent. 

What equipment can be used to detect gas leakage?

Whilst there are preventative methods that can be taken to minimize the chance of gas leaking, having an adequate gas detection system in place will help stop the chance of long-term damage. There are several different products on the market which are more suited to certain situations than others. 

Gas detection devices can be both fixed and portable. Fixed devices are installed permanently in a certain location where gas leaks are deemed as more likely. Fixed gas detectors are good for enclosed environments where a gas leak can lead to flammable explosions. 

If you are surveying a wide area then a portable gas detector will allow you to get the greatest coverage and ascertain the gas levels of a variety of different locations.

What to do if you suspect a gas leak?

In the event of a gas leak, it is important to ensure the situation is made as safe as possible in a quick time frame. Here’s what to do if you have detected a gas leak. 

1. Shut down the gas supply 

When you have noticed a gas leak the first step is to not panic and immediately proceed to turn off the source of the gas supply. This can be done through the main switch which is normally located near the gas reading meter. 

2. Ensure the area is well ventilated 

After the supply has been switched off you should proceed to make sure the area where the gas leak has been detected is well ventilated. This will help to minimize the effect the gas may have on individuals in the area and reduce the chances of an explosion. 

3. Avoid activities that may trigger an explosion 

If you have detected a leak to minimize the chances of an explosion you should ensure you avoid doing anything that could act as an ignitor. This includes mobile devices, lighters, smoking, and other threatening activities. 

4. Call the national gas emergency number 

Make sure once you have taken all the necessary measures that you call the national gas emergency number. This will put you through to a professional who will be able to help you deal with the issue. 

How do you prevent gas leaks from occurring? 

Whilst in many instances gas leaks are hard to predict, some preventative measures can help increase the health and safety of your workplace. Having the appliances that require gas checked regularly by a certified professional will help maintain the strength of the system and reduce the chance of leaks. 

Investing in gas detection and monitoring systems will also help you predict the likelihood of a leak occurring based on previously collected data. 

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