Handle cooking gas with utmost care to prevent the fire accidents


A gas cooker connected to biogas in Moiben, Uasin Gishu. PHOTO | NMG

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is increasingly becoming cost-effective and convenient in most households.

Unlike traditional cooking fuels like firewood, charcoal and kerosene, LPG has a high calorific value that enables cooking faster.

According to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra), consumption of LPG rose by 16.5 per cent in 2021 totalling 373,865 tonnes.

This replicates that LPG is cleaner making it the most preferred source of energy for domestic, industrial, commercial, chemical, agricultural and transportation use.

Consumption of LPG cylinders will most likely continue to increase, decreasing reliance on kerosene and charcoal which are not environmental-friendly.

However, the poor handling of the gas cylinder has been a health hazard, leaving damage and, in some instances, killing people. Cooking gas should be handled with utmost care.

To detect LPG gas leaks, one can recognise them through a distinctive odour similar to that of rotting cabbage. It can occur from the LPG cylinder, regulator, gas pipe or gas stove.

If you notice the gas leaking, return it to the dealer. If you were using it, you are advised to stay calm. Switch off the gas stove immediately and turn off the gas regulator and move the cylinder to a ventilated area.

Avoid lighting any other source of ignition such as matchboxes, cigarettes, candles and incense sticks.

Similarly, avoid using any electrical switches or appliances as they can create sparks, which may ignite the gas. Get in touch with your certified distributor for urgent assistance and do not enter the house until the technician has arrived.

You can use a soapy solution for checking leaks. Always transport and store them in an upright position to avoid damage and leakage.

Gas cylinders must be suitably segregated. Flammable and oxidising gases must be separated from each other, at least three metres apart or separated by firewalls.

The recommended minimum distance between the cooker and the LPG cylinder is 30cm. The cylinder should never be rolled over, tilted, shaken, thrown or banged and exposed directly to the rain and sun.

While igniting the gas and having failed attempts, the unburnt vapour should be allowed to dissipate before trying to ignite the gas again. Also rotate stocks of cylinders, so that older cylinders are used first.