GazBusters cc
Custom Search
  As liquid petroleum gas becomes more available to South African homes, Gaz Busters offers some practical advice and safety tips on the installation and use of this wonderful resource. GazBusters warns that the installation of gas or conversion to gas is a job only for professionals. Specialists are required by law to be registered with the South African Qualification and Certification committee. Just as any gas applicance must conform to the relevant SA National Standard and must carry the LPGas Safety Association of South Africa Safe Applicance Mark.  

LPGas is CLEAN and SAFE, provided you follow some SIMPLE RULES:








  • Light the match or turn on the igniter before turning on the gas.

  • Check by looking to see that the pilot burner or main burner has ignited - especially inside ovens where it is not always easy to see the flame.

  • If the gas will not ignite easily turn off the gas and check that there is LPGas in the supply cylinders. If in doubt call a gas dealer.

  • Remember that LPGas vapour is heavier than air and even a small leak will result in gas accumulating on the floor and forming a flammable mixture with the surrounding air.

  • Remember too that LPGas vapour is invisible - but you can quickly detect its presence by its strong smell. Extinguish all flames - and do not smoke. Ventilate the area by opening doors and windows until the smell has gone.

  • Gas leaks are caused by accidentally leaving open a gas valve or by a faulty connection to a pipe or valve. To find the leak, splash suspect part of pipe or valve with soapy water. The leak will cause bubbles. Cylinders must always stand upright.

  • Do not use a cylinder which is damaged eg. badly rusted or dented, cut, bulging, etc. - have it checked by your LPG Dealer. Use only proper LPG hose to connect your stove or other LPG appliances. Ordinary rubber or garden hose must never be used as these are not designed for LPG and will soon deteriorate and leak. Keep flexible piping away from heat.

  • Flexible pipe should be inspected annually for leaks.

  • Flexible piping should be clamped to correctly designed metal connectors.

  • A good supply of oxygen (air) is essential for efficient combustion - therefore a room in which LPG is burned must have adequate ventilation openings - at low level to let fresh air in and at high level for products of combustion to exit.

  • It is important to note that inadequate ventilation may result in the formation of poisonous carbon monoxide.

  • Most gas connections utilise synthetic rubber joints or O-rings. These should be inspected (whenever the joint is made or broken) for cracks, perishing or other damage (eg. brittleness due to ageing) and replaced if necessary.

    Don't panic - Flames from joints near cylinder are not dangerous in themselves.

  • If possible, close the cylinder valve using a wet cloth to protect your hand.

  • Spray cold water onto cylinders exposed to the fire in order to keep them cool. Use a hose pipe. Keep people away from the area.

  • ALWAYS ENSURE THERE IS GOOD VENTILATION. Men, women and children breathe air as a natural function which enables them to live.

  • There is normally 21% oxygen in the air we breath (the rest is nitrogen). If this oxygen content drops to 14-16% it results in rapid breathing and an increased pulse rate. Loss of muscular co-ordination occurs at around the 12% level. Abnormal fatigue and laboured breathing sets in at round 10%. Between the 6 and 10% level nausea, vomiting and an inability to move freely occurs and eventually, the probability of loss of consciousness.

  • If we just seal ourselves in a room we will be using up the oxygen with our normal breathing. A person at rest will use approximately 4.5m3/h. Therefore they could experience difficulties if locked in a 2m cubed or 8m3 room (e.g. a bathroom) for just 2 hours without the entry of any fresh air.

  • All forms of combustion require/use oxygen and LPGas is no exception. An LPGas appliance will therefore also use up available oxygen in the air, at approximately the same rate as person - depending upon its size. Ventilation is the free entry and circulation of air in a confined space such as a room.

  • A vent is an opening through which air able to pass. Ventilation is required if the air in a room is being used up by flames burning and/or people breathing. If ventilation is not provided then the existing oxygen in the air will be used up, the flames will start to smoke and eventually go out and the people will lapse into unconsciousness and, eventually suffocate.

  • Most fatal accidents involving LPGas in South Africa are usually suffocations and/or carbon monoxide poisonings, caused by a lack of ventilation. Once the problem is understood it is not difficult to make the necessary provision - bearing in mind however, that two vents must be provided; a lower ground level one through which fresh air will enter and, a higher or ceiling level one through which the warmer, stale air can leave the room.

  • It is not enough to assume that a flue, if fitted, will take out the stale air. A separate high level vent is essential - particularly if people are likely to be in the room. Good building practice requires ventilation bricks/panels to be built in the walls. These are usually in the form of 15cm x 15cm vent or louvered panels. Preferably two near the ceiling and two near the floor.

  • In winter, in an attempt to keep warm, people tend to try and seal any gaps in order to prevent drafts (i.e. fresh air coming in). As can be seen from the above this can be very dangerous - especially in small rooms. Always ensure that there is adequate ventilation.