In thousands of homes across Nigeria, cooking gas is the go to solution for having a smokeless kitchen. It’s clean and highly efficient but unlike other substitutes like firewood, charcoal, cooking gas comes with extra care and caution. Poor management has resulted to fatal loss of lives and properties. Below, we list 10 safety tips to consider when making use of gas at home:
1) Ensure that the gas cylinder is situated away from flames: In most Nigerian homes, the gas cylinder is kept beneath the burner or at a nearby cupboard. This is risky as open flames can easily ignite the cylinder. It is advisable to keep the cylinder outside the house and transport the gas via a flexible hose.
2) Transport gas cylinder in a safe manner: Cooking gas should only be transported/stored in a good cylinder. Do not make use of plastic gallons or any other storage means. Also, do not shake gas cylinders while in transit to avoid rolling over and possible leakage.
3) Be careful when using sensitive materials: Glues, rubber cements, cleaning agents, turpentine etc give off vapours that ignite easily. Store at a different location, far away from the cooking area.
4) Do not place plastic and other flammable materials close to the burner: Plastic plates, cups, cellophane bags, paper and other flammable materials should be kept away from the cooking area. When observed closely, flammable materials begin to shrink even when not in direct contact with heat.
5) Turn off gas switches/outlets after use: To avoid leakages or flaring, do not leave gas switches on after use. Accidental discharge of sparks or heat is enough to ignite a whole house. Ensure to keep all outlets closed.
6) Have one working carbon monoxide detector at home: Chances are that you are just hearing about this for the first time. A carbon monoxide detector is a device that triggers an alarm when fuels are not burnt completely. This helps to prevent fire outbreaks.
7) Do not self-service: Do not attempt to alter or repair gas appliances yourself. Ensure to contract an experienced technician.
8) Ensure your gas cylinder is not expired: A lot of people do not know that gas cylinders have expiry dates. Expiry dates are marked on the inner side of the stay plate or on the body of the cylinder. Cylinders deteriorate due to moisture and rough handling over a period of time. Change your gas cylinder accordingly.
9) Keep the kitchen well ventilated: Do not cook in an airtight environment. Ensure to leave the windows open to allow easy flow of air
10) Promote gas safety measures: Safety begins with you. Educate everyone in your home, office or gas facility on safe gas practices. If possible, paste safety stickers at strategic areas to remind people (especially children) about it.