All You Need to Know about Gas Safety
By: Shaza Walid
Gas in its general form is defined as air-like fluid substance that is neither solid nor in liquid shape. Gas is mostly used as a type of fuel for heating and cooking as natural gases and artificial gases. Types of gas differ and are abundant; air, helium, nitrogen, Freon, carbon dioxide, water vapor, hydrogen, natural gas, propane, oxygen, ozone and hydrogen sulfide. Before the invention and ultimate development of the economical usage of natural gas, artificial gas was the most prominent type used in households. However, when thinking about a suitable source of power to your heater and oven at home, natural gas comes off as a very convenient option for a variety of reasons; it is environmentally friendly because it does not emit as much byproducts as the other fuels, and it is safe and easy to use. Not to mention, it is significantly less expensive than other fuels. What more reasons do you need to switch to natural gas at your home?
The most prominent types of Gas are Propane, Butane, and Natural Gas.
This type of gas is generally used as a fuel for engines, stoves, and central heating systems. Propane is usually used as an alternative for natural gas (propane is alway stored in tanks in the form of liquid) and it is considered to be a part of natural gas but in a raw state. It is quite safe to use at home because it does not react with air. It is inexpensive to use and produces higher levels of heat than electric heaters do. On the flip side, propane tanks are not exactly practical to use; they can be a bit cumbersome and they are more expensive than natural gas.
An organic compound that is rather flammable by nature. It produces no color and is an easily liquefied type of gas.
It is important to know that natural gas is one of the fossil fuels that exist in a gaseous state. It is drilled from deep inside the earth the same way as oil. It is odorless, tasteless, and colorless.
Nevertheless, gas usage has come a long way over the years. It was not as easily produced, consumed, or safely stored as it is now. Yaoota takes you through an exciting glimpse about the history of gas along the years. In addition, we are offering you tips about gas safety at home.
*Prices listed in the article are the ones provided when the article has been published, and they are subject to change, depending on the market flow.
Gas fires, gas cookers, or hobs
Whether you are using a fire hob or an electric one, as per your needs and wants, you will find all the variety you are looking for under Yaoota’s Gas Hobs.
When was Natural Gas First Discovered?
To the early man, around 1000 BC, natural gas was a mystery. Sometimes, natural gas would seep from the earth, and when lightning struck, it would cause fires. Such fires appalled people because they could not comprehend where it came from. They even thought it was of a divine origin. In addition, a temple was built in ancient Greece to honor the place where people saw a flame coming from the earth.
Later in 500 BC, the Chinese were the first to use bamboo stems to transport the natural gas from the earth to the surface to be used in boiling seawater in their houses for the sake of obtaining drinkable water. How innovative!
In around 1785, Britain was the first to use commercialized natural gas to light houses and streets. Then, its use expanded ever since.
What about Gas Safety?
Since natural gas is odorless, you would never know if there was a gas leak. Note that inhaling high levels of natural gas can lead to nausea and even death. In the 20th century, workers would take cages of canary birds with them in coalmines. You might ask why! Workers would notice the birds’ behavior in reaction to their surroundings. If they found that the birds stopped chirping or started moving around rapidly in their cages, they would know that they were operating in an oxygen deficient zone and they would need to evacuate the place. Of course, this method became obsolete with the invention of electric gas detectors.
Fun fact: To make natural gas easier to detect, mercaptan, a harmless chemical, is added to natural gas to make it smell, since it contains sulfur. This way, people would know right away when there was a gas leak.
How to Keep Safe at Home?
As convenient as natural gas is, one cannot overlook its potential health hazards. Yaoota is here providing you with some tips to ensure your safety around natural gas at home.
- Look for a blue Energy Star seal when buying a new gas appliance. This will ensure that the device meets the optimum security standards.
- Make sure all your gas appliances are checked regularly for any gas leaks. All the pipes must be inspected to make sure they are tight enough to prevent gas leaks.
- Look for signs on your appliances, such as yellow flames (normal colour is blue), or black stains. This could be an indication of a problem with your appliance.
- It is advisable to install an audible carbon monoxide detector at your home. Carbon monoxide is one of the compounds that natural gas contains. It is best to install it at the room where a gas appliance is. Check out Gas Detectors here, prices start at 235 EGP.
- Familiarize yourself with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in case any member of your household experiences them. The symptoms include nausea, dizziness, headaches, fainting, and breathlessness. When all your family members are experiencing these symptoms at the same time, then there is surely a gas leak. If the symptoms appear when you are at the house and disappear when you leave, that is another sign.
- Ensure that the area around your gas appliances is well ventilated and not blocked. This is to guarantee proper air circulation.
- If you are leaving your house for long periods, make sure to close all gas supply valves to avoid any leaks.
- In case of any fire caused by natural gas, always have a multipurpose fire extinguisher at home to minimize any damage.
- Refrain from installing or fixing a gas appliance yourself; always seek a professional’s help.
- Keep your appliances clean to avoid any build-up. This is to make sure your appliance is operating without problems.
- Never leave your oven turned on for no real purpose (for heating your house, for instance).
- Make sure that children and pets stay away from gas appliances.
- In case of a gas leak, do not smoke, do not light candles or matches, do not turn off or on the lights. Open all the windows to ventilate the house, and urn off your gas supply until a professional comes to fix the problem.
Most importantly, rely on your sense of smell. If you smell an unusual odor, carry out the above mentioned tips and safety measures until a professional comes to fix the problem. You and your family’s safety always comes first!
Yaoota’s brief guide to stay safe no matter what type of gas appliance you are using:
- All your gas appliances should be checked by an expert on a regular basis.
- Always be on the lookout for any issues with your gas appliances.
- Use gas appliances only when needed.
- Buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm and install it.
- Be attentive for common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These include:
- A headache.
- Feeling sick and dizzy.
- Feeling tired and confused.
- Being sick and having stomach pain.
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Check out Gas Ovens here, prices start at 5,538 EGP.
Check out Gas Heaters here, prices start at 1,175 EGP.
Check out Gas Cooktops here, prices start at 11,345 EGP.
Check out Gas Cookers here, prices start at 1,299 EGP.
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