With the onset of winter, homeowners who use LPGas roll-about heaters, patio heaters, water heaters or fireplaces need to ensure the safety of their gas equipment as well as the cylinders they use.
The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association of South Africa (LPGSA) is a non-profit industry body tasked with promoting the safe and compliant use of LPGas. As the LPGas industry body we are dedicated to the safe use of LPGas throughout South Africa, and to helping users to understand its safety implications.
The LPGSA advises South African consumers who are preparing to stay warm during the coming cold months to consult registered professionals to assist with the correct installation and maintenance of their LPGas appliances and to ensure that legally filled cylinders are in use at all times.
Used in accordance with safety guidelines, LPGas is a clean, reliable alternative to other energy sources. When used correctly and safely, LPGas is a cost-effective alternative to other energy sources. The following tips will ensure that you are able to use your appliance safely and effectively this winter.
General safety tips
- Always consult the manual that came with the appliance for specific safety tips.
- Keep LPGas appliances and fittings in good condition via regular servicing.
- It is important to ensure that your LPGas appliance has been manufactured as per the safety standards set out by the SABS. To check your appliance’s status, enter the appliance’s model number, available on the data badge, into the search tab at www.lpgas.co.za/safe-appliance-database/
- LPGas appliances should only be serviced and installed by licensed LPGas installers or service companies.
- A registered LPGas installer will carry their SAQCC Gas registered license card. It details the installer’s scope as well as the expiry date of the license card.
- Once the registered installer has completed installing the water heater, they must sign and hand over a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to the homeowner.
- Check your appliances regularly for deterioration in performance, signs of corrosion and minor leaks.
- Make sure that the area in which you use your LPGas appliance is well-ventilated.
- Do not detach cylinders, regulators or any connections while the LPGas appliance is in use.
- Do not leave appliances unattended while in use.
- Ensure that the gas supply is turned off at the cylinder after use and while the appliance is unattended.
Purchasing and refilling your LPGas cylinder:
- Consumers of LPGas in South Africa must ensure that they are purchasing legally filled LPGas cylinders.
- When exchanging your empty cylinder for a filled one, make sure that your replacement cylinder has been legally and safely filled by checking that there is a shrink wrap seal covering the cylinder valve.
- Do not accept the cylinder if there is no seal or if the seal is clear with no writing or branding.
- If the seal only has the words LPG or LPGas printed on it, do not accept the cylinder – even if the seal is a coloured one.
- The only acceptable seal is one that has the same branding on the seal as is on the body of the cylinder.
Checking for gas leaks
- Make sure you use the correct size of cylinder for the appliance you are using.
- Once you have connected the regulator to the cylinder valve, open the valve one and a half turns only – it is not necessary to open it further.
- Before using the appliance, wait a half a minute or so to see if there is any smell of gas.
- If there is a smell, immediately close the valve and contact an LPGas dealer to check and, if necessary, service the appliance.
- You can also check for a leak by applying a soapy water solution on all joints. The soapy solution will create bubbles if the gas is leaking.