Regional News of Tuesday, 13 May 2014
The domestic cooking device which combines a gas cylinder affixed to a ‘stove’ at the top has been declared dangerous for use.
The Ghana National Fire Service has consequently warned that the domestic fire set – which has fire directly set on top of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder – can spark a wave of domestic fires if the production, sale and use of those cylinders are not stopped.
“That kind of cylinder with a stove on it is a very dangerous mechanism,” McFrancis Agbavitor, the Assistant Divisional Officer 1 of the Wa Municipal Fire Service, told the Daily Graphic.
“It is not safe at all. It is the worst thing to think of in terms of safety in the advent of LPG and modernisation within our domestic settings.
“With the least leakage from the cylinder, disaster could strike because of the proximity of the fire from the gas cylinder,” he added.
The two-in-one apparatus combines the original application of a gas cylinder and a separate burner/cooker into a single piece at cheaper cost. It has become the commonest component of students’ belongings in hostels and cubicles, while many households have found it convenient (in both price and portability).
But Mr. Agbavitor said the model would have to be outlawed to forestall the inherent dangers it posed to life and property.
“It is a clear bomb; maybe a time bomb because we are on the edge of a potential wave of disasters that could be caused by this combined cylinders and stoves. I say a bomb in the sense that an explosion is very possible since the fire is directly sitting on top of the highly inflammable petroleum gas,” he explained.
Ordinarily, gas cylinders are connected to burners/cookers by a tube, and the pair of gas cylinder and the burner/cooker are supposed to stand 10 feet apart, at the least.
“It is for good reason that cylinders are to be kept away from the fire and the kitchen. If the fire and the cylinder must be kept apart, then how can anybody justify the fixing of the stove on top of the cylinder?
On the matter of domestic fire outbreaks, he said many of such fires were caused by careless handling of gas and fire.
“Gas cylinders should not be in the kitchen with the stove, burner or cooker. They must be kept apart - a good distance of at least 10 feet. The hose or tube must be changed regularly, depending on the usage and other conditions,” he advised.
“The connection of the tube to the burner or cooker must be checked. It must be properly fixed before a match is lighted. Faulty regulators must be changed rather than being supported by heavy stones and other materials.”
“The public too must be sensitive to the smell of gas.”
The fire officer said recent building plans rarely considered safety standards, particularly in terms of potential domestic fires, stressing that the recent barricading of homes with burglar proof had been at the expense of safety considerations.
“We are interested in security, but we have sacrificed safety,” he said.