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Stay Gas Safe

Category Life hack

The continuous rise in electricity prices 💸 in South Africa has led many homeowners to change their cooking 🍳appliances and heating units to the cheaper gas alternative. Some (less traditional) have even forsaken the traditional wood-fire 🔥 braai for the quicker and easier gas alternative.

Like many other families in South Africa we have gone this route and until last night I did not think too much about educating my children on the dangers of gas 🚫.

To end off a busy week and to catch up with the children before Monday madness starts we love to enjoy a Sunday evening braai.

And just like many parents with tweens we try to empower our children and teach them how to be capable young men. It is with this spirit that my sons jump at the opportunity to braai the meat while I organize the rest of the meal.

Admittedly we were a bit distracted this Sunday as the age of technology💻📱🕹 seems to catch us around every corner. My son went to put on the gas braai and then ran straight back to the TV to catch a minute of some program before he ran back to check if the gas was heating up the braai.

It was at this moment that he realized that the gas braai had not lit🔥 so without knowing the risk, he quickly sparked another flame  



💥BOOM!!💥

And then came the screams of panic as Keon ran towards us with singed hair, eyelashes and arms.

One lucky escape, as a couple of centimeters closer and it would have burnt his face.  

But with most things in life we realized that accidents often happen as a result of human error and this could have turned into a disaster … so what did we learn

According to regulations introduced in 2009, all gas installations must have a Certificate of Conformity in accordance with the Pressure Equipment Regulations promulgated under the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993). The certificate states that the installation has been properly inspected and is safe and leak-free.

What this basically means is that any gas installation in a house needs to have a certificate of compliance which is usually obtained during the installation phase by a certified technician. This certificate also forms part of the transfer documents when a house is sold and it needs to be no older than 5 years.

So how did we deal with the human error?

The regulations are all well and good, but children need to understand the practical implications about working with gas

SO how do you teach children about gas?

  1. Teach them to always light the match first, THEN turn on the gas to ignite the burners

  2. Show them how important it is to stay focused when you work with gas and to not get distracted by cell phones and electronics

  3. Familiarize them with what gas smells like so that they can recognize when there may be a leak.

  4. Make them aware that the quickest way to get rid of gas is to ventilate a room or area.

  5. Teach them the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, and loss of consciousness

  6. Make them aware of any warning signs that a gas appliance is not working properly - lazy yellow flames, excessive blackness

  7. Show them some Youtube videos on home gas explosions caught on camera so that they can understand how serious this can be.

  8. Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the house and that everyone knows where it is and how to use it.

  9. Make sure they know that gas appliances are to be used for the intended purpose only - do not use a gas stove to warm a home

Have all gas appliances checked regularly, if not for the sake of regulation but for that of your family

Working with gas can be deadly… KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE!

I know we have all learned our lesson

Author: Melanie Pearse

Submitted 08 May 17 / Views 538