With the current price of kerosene in Nigeria, a lot of people are now turning to gas cookers and electric stoves to replace conventional kerosene stoves. However, using gas to cook comes with its own risks and dangers as the methane used for combustion is highly flammable. Although cooking with gas cookers and burners may be easier, faster and less expensive, there are a lot of things that must be taken into consideration as accidents and mishaps involving gas cookers tend to be fatal. This is mainly because the gas is not actually visible, it can only be perceived especially if a considerable amount is lost, making it more difficult to detect leakage and saturation. A room filled with methane gas is undoubtedly dangerous. To be on a safe side, here are some important things to know if you cook with methane gas:
- Avoid leaking cylinders: Some people might not notice that the cylinder which contains the gas is leaking. Other people prefer to seal the leakage with ordinary cello tape in a bid to save cost. If your cylinder leaks, do not waste another minute in removing it from the house so that the gas does not saturate the kitchen and cause a fire.
- Keep the cylinder outside. The gas cylinder should be kept outside for safety and emergency purposes so that in case a fire happens, it does not destroy lives and property. Pressure is used to pump the gas into the cylinder and if an explosion happens, the damage will be minimized if it was outside rather than inside the house.
- Adjust all stoppers every night: The stoppers are the knobs used to control and regulate the gas. Before sleeping each night, make sure that the stoppers are closed and in the right position to avoid mistakes. If the stopper is open, gas can easily leak out and cause a fire anytime. So make sure the stoppers are close when the cooker is not in use, especially at night.
- Do not pour water into a burning pot: In an emergency situation whereby a pot is on the gas cooker and it is already burning, do not pour water directly so as not to compound the problem. The first thing is to close the stopper to ensure that more gas is not being fed into the fire, then pour sand instead if water into the burning pot. Most facilities usually have a sand bucket that can be used in case of a fire incident, you can adapt this as well by keeping sand in a container as a precautionary measure.