THIS refers to the report ‘LPG: the poor man’s fuel’ (July 12). The liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) burns like natural gas, but its heavier-than-air properties are not fully understood by 99 per cent of our users. A leakage causes it to settle down and flow like invisible water. A live cigarette butt or matchstick thrown down, or an electrical socket located close to the ground, can cause a spark, followed by a huge fire. It is called boiling-liquid-expanding-vapour explosion.
Most LPG fires are blamed on cylinder bursting, and the cylinder quality is identified as the root cause before the case is closed down. Cylinders do not burst easily, their leaking hosepipe joints lead the ground-hugging fire to its source, and then invariably the cylinder explodes.
The said report suggested that LPG switching kits for natural gas-based domestic appliances should be encouraged and marketed by the two Sui companies. While this is a good suggestion for our poor people, we must educate them about the hazards associated with LPG and safety precautions to be taken. Also, it should not be used indoors.
S. Nayyar Iqbal Raza
Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2021