LPG is deliberately given a distinctive odour to help people detect a leak. The smell is very strong, somewhat resembling rotten eggs. If you smell gas, switch your gas bottle off immediately.
LPG is flammable when combined with air and an ignition source. The best way to prevent a fire is to prevent leaks, but beyond this you should consider controlling potential ignition sources at your refilling site, including electrical equipment, open flames, and running vehicles.
LPG is stored in cylinders as a liquid under pressure, but is released as a gas. When it is released its temperature rapidly drops to as low as -42 degrees Celsius. If you come into contact with the gas at this temperature you can suffer a serious freeze burn, much more damaging than a regular heat burn.
To avoid this, be sure to use the correct procedure and personal protective equipment when changing cylinders. This includes anti-static clothing (long sleeves), thermally insulated gloves, and eye protection.
LPG expands rapidly from liquid to gas if released from the cylinder. This means that a small liquid leak can quickly fill an area with vapour. Storing cylinders upright ensures that if the pressure inside becomes too high or if there is a leaking connection, only vapour will leak out, not liquid.
All fixed LPG installations should be carried out and serviced by a licensed or authorised gas fitter. This includes work in domestic or industrial premises, caravans, and boats.
Furthermore, you should only use equipment and parts that are specifically manufactured and approved for LPG. This includes the correct type of hose.
Appliances and fittings should be kept in good condition. Ensure that they are checked regularly for signs of deterioration or corrosion and tested for minor leaks.
When transporting cylinders:
Also, be sure to shut off the cylinder valve before disconnecting the cylinder from the appliance. Likewise, ensure that the appliance isolation cocks are turned off when replacing an empty cylinder.
If there is a bushfire approaching, ensure that the area around your gas cylinder is free from flammable materials and that cylinders are upright and in a stable position outside.
Turn off all gas appliances and gas cylinder supply valves. Be sure to remember all cylinders that you have at home, including with your BBQ or in your caravan or workshop.
After the threat of a bushfire has passed, it is not yet safe to turn on your cylinders. They must be checked by your gas supplier. This is because there may be non-visible heat damage to cylinders that affect their structural integrity.
For more information on LPG safety in the event of a bushfire, please visit our Safety page