The need for extra precautions when using gas appliances cannot be overstated. Handled by ignorant owners, these appliances, while undeniably useful, can be a timeless bomb that may set off anytime a household member makes a mistake of triggering its destructive power in what will only be described later as an accident.
Gas accidents are unintended unintentional, that's why it is called an accident. But they are also largely avoidable. It should be the responsibility of the manufacturers, government regulators and household heads alike to educate all stakeholders on the dangers of these products and services and how they must be handled to prevent a disaster.
One simple and should be a common knowledge precaution is to light matches before turning gas ranges on. If the match flame goes out before successfully lighting the stove, the stove's lever should also be turned off. The idea is to free the air from gas before introducing a flame. On top of it, the gas range itself must be clean from potential fire complements like grease, debris or oil. If in case a gas fire is started, never put it out with water. Baking soda would be the best household choice. It is thus strongly discouraged to place flammable objects near gas ranges like curtains, calendars and towels.
Ovens are for cooking food and not for heating any other things. You don't have to be a certified gas technician to know that wrong use of the oven puts your household at risk while contributing to the fast wear and tear of your oven. In any case, always follows the operating procedure as found in the appliance's manual when you buy it.
Water heaters must be safely fixed where it is safe both for itself and for the people around it. Elevated types of water heaters must likewise be firm enough to support the weight of the water container and the likelihood ground movements like earthquakes. Temperature must be kept at the legally prescribed levels or just enough for household use. Like in any other gas appliance, it is also strongly advised not to place flammable materials nor store such combustible ones like paints, gasoline and solvents near the water heater.
Furnaces must be regularly serviced at least once a year to keep it in good condition and decrease the likelihood of starting fire with it. This practice would also in effect increase its lifespan while maintaining its performance. While doing maintenance, the furnace must be checked for the possibility of hazardous materials that may have been thrown into it or hear it while it is dead. Furthermore, check whether the vent system is free of obstruction and its filter is properly cleaned.
If you can have your way, make sure the line between your gas appliances and distribution lines are flexible or at least have enough allowance for movement. This will allow it to your setup to tolerate movements, intentional or otherwise, thereby lessening the likelihood of damage when that happens.
Gas engineers advised to have one gas shutoff valve on each gas appliance other than the overall shutoff valve. This setup will make it easier to lock or close the gas network when there is a leak on one particular appliance's end or when you need to have that appliance serviced or replaced. This way you don't have to shut down the entire network when the problem is actually only isolated. This article should then serve as an apt reminder to all gas appliance users.
As you may have already realized, gas safety practices is actually just a set of common sense acts. Ironically however, many of the gas accidents on record happened because people failed to do these common sense acts.
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