Liquefied petroleum gas is a colourless and odourless liquid which readily evaporates into a gas. In order to help detect leaks, an odorant (either Butane or Propane) has been added to LPG. It is classified as highly flammable and if it contains more than 0.1% Butadiene. LPG is non-corrosive but can dissolve lubricants, certain plastics or synthetic rubbers.
Though there are several benefits of LPG, it may leak as a gas or a liquid. If the liquid leaks it will quickly evaporate and form a relatively large cloud of gas which will drop to the ground, as it is heavier than air. Also it vapours can run for long distances along the ground and can collect in drains or basements and when this gas meets a source of ignition, it can explode. LPG cylinders if involved in a fire can explode .LPG can cause cold burns to the skin and it can act as an asphyxiant at high concentrations.
LPG is widely used as a cooking gas because of its environmentally friendly nature . It is easy to handle LPG and one can easily control the flame with the help of knobs on the stove . LPG cylinders can be easily stored at home and doesn’t require much space .Even with all the benefits there are general requirements which need to be followed by occupiers, gas cylinders distributor, suppliers of LPG, persons present at installations, designers of plant and persons installing plant.
- LPG plants must be designed with appropriate standards and must be properly installed and commissioned by persons who are competent.
- LPG must be stored in proper location wherein vessels or cylinders are suitably positioned having regard to the relevant codes of practice .
- LPG plants must have the appropriate safety and monitoring control devices functioned by competent persons .
- There must be proper maintenance and testing by competent persons .
- Plant must be accessible for maintenance .
- Proper records of maintenance and tests must be kept .
- Accidents can happen anytime so proper precautions must be taken to prevent fire and explosion including appropriate protection of storage vessels .
- Installations must have proper security measures to prevent accidents.
- There should be proper reporting to the authority in case of any incidents involving death or hospitalisation, fire or explosion or a leakage of LPG.