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Jul 10, 2018

How to handle a leaking butane cylinder

There are questions on whether the explosion could have been avoided? Well, according to the fire officials, having a butane cylinder inside a house is a hazard and even more so when the tank is corroding or faulty.  Monday’s explosion in a residential area could have been disastrous. Today, Station Officer Orin Smith warns about the danger of having LPG cylinders inside and what you must do if you suspect there is a leak.

 

Orin Smith, Station Officer, National Fire Service

Orin Smith

“The danger of having those tanks in the house is extremely risky because when a leak occurs and an ignition source is triggered, anyone within the home can be seriously injured or killed and your house extensively damaged. It is advised that the tanks be stored on the outside of the residence if you are concerned with them being stolen or someone stealing from you, then you can out them in a cage, not boxed them in an area where they cannot be ventilated but in a security bar cage where they have ventilation. Store them in an area that is cool and dry. Do not rest them directly on the ground but elevate them so that air can pass through underneath because these gases, because of their characteristics the heavier pressure is at the lower point of the cylinder and that is often the point that corrodes first.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Sir, so if you have a leak, what do you do?”

 

Orin Smith

“Evacuate. Open your doors and let it air out. Some people think of putting a fan there but that is just putting an ignition source to an already hazardous environment. So, it is just to shut off the tank and if you can move it outside then put it outside. If you cannot, then leave it there and call the authorities. If it is a tank that is particularly in poor condition, I wouldn’t advise anybody to move it because they will just put themselves at risk and any drop of that cylinder can rupture it. So, ventilate the area and evacuate and call the authorities.”

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