A gas leak at home can be an extremely scary affair. Once that pungent smell hits the nostrils, panic sets in because any flame might spark an explosion.
Having an LPG cylinder at home is unavoidable, and they are usually safe. However, if something happens, this is what you should do.
1. Do not panic. Panicking will only hinder a clear thought pattern and may actually be harmful in this case. Maintain a sense of calm, and convey the same message to other occupants of the house as well.
2. Extinguish any fire in your house, no matter how small. Yes, even the innocuous incense sticks! Keep away the matches/lighters, or anything even remotely flammable.
3. Next, shut down the appliance and turn off the LPG regulator. Then, put the safety cap on the cylinder after the regulator has been switched off.
4. Immediately open all the doors and windows to your house so that the gas can escape. Never open electrical fans or even an exhaust fan. Let the gas escape naturally. Once you do that, go outside the house and isolate the main electric supply. Be sure to evacuate yourself and others from the area.
5. If you or your loved one have inhaled an excessive amount of gas, move yourself or the person to a place where there is fresh air circulating. Rest in a comfortable position, and relax.
6. If the gas has made contact with your clothes and skin, remove the contaminated clothing immediately and rinse the affected area with a lot of water, for at least 15-20 minutes. Seek medical help if required.
7. If the gas enters the eyes, it causes itching and burning. Resist the temptation to itch, and rinse the eyelid and eye with a lot of water for around 15-20 minutes. If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them before flushing your eyes.
8. If the cylinder happens to be in flames, do not worry. Take a soaking wet towel or a long piece of cloth, and wrap it around the cylinder. The supply of air to the flame will be cut off, and the fire will subside.
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Once you have performed all the above steps, call the helpline number 1906, and intimate them of the leak so they may come and help you. Most importantly, do not try and move the cylinder, as this might cause issues. A gas leak is avoidable if you check your regulators and safety valves, but if one does happen, you now know what to do!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)