As the mercury climbs ever higher, Nanjing authorities are taking steps to remind local citizens of the dangers posed by their gas supply.
Just a few days more than a year ago, residents of Dafang, Gulou district were abruptly woken by a factory boiler blast that sent a shock wave through many neighbourhoods, while a week later in Xuzhou City in northern Jiangsu, several gas cylinders exploded outside a primary school.
While foul play was suspected in the latter, the cases point to the need for the public to be more vigilant with regards to supplies, as well as the storage and transportation thereof, as temperatures in Nanjing’s summer reach their peak.
In China, local authorities often spread public service announcements by hosting a minor event for a select group of people, often those in a certain community compound, in the knowledge that it will be widely reported on by local media. In this case, the Nanjing Gas Management Bureau organised an awareness activity in which the government issued its reminders for safe conduct regarding the potentially lethal vapour around the home.
Such instructions included checking that hoses connecting cylinders to appliances be in good condition. In order to check for leaks, put some soapy water in a spray bottle. Then turn on the gas and spray the valve, regulator and hoses with the soapy water. Bubbles shall be noticed if there is a leak.
According to Australian supplier of LPG cylinders, Elgas, “If a gas bottle is exposed to abnormally high temperatures, the gas will expand. If it exceeds the maximum safe pressure, the pressure relief valve, built into the main valve, will release some of the pressure by venting some gas. If the gas bottle is stored safely outdoors, and away from any ignition source, the released gas should just harmlessly dissipate”.
In China, cylinders are very often stored indoors, where is can be even hotter than outside, and close to an ignition source. It is the venting of the pressure relief valve that can lead to explosions.