25 September 2014, Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has urged Nigerians to be careful with the use of Liquify Petroleum Gas, LPG, gas cylinders, as some are expired and prone to fire accident at homes and other uses.
Most fire accidents that occur at homes and other places are as a result of the use of expired gas cylinders and sometimes the carelessness of users.
Head Gas, DPR, Lagos Zonal Office, Mr. P.A. Emordi, who disclosed this stated that gas cylinders have expiring dates on the valves with a duration of 22 years of validity before which they should be disposed for another one.
Highlighting the breakdown of the years required for gas cylinders, Emordi noted that, “After the purchase of gas cylinders, it should be taken for the first integrity test after ten years, and five years before carrying out another integrity test.”
Also, he stated that the cylinder should be used for five years and then taken for integrity test, and then finally two years ( 10-5-5-2), making the duration of 22 years before final disposal.
He added that gas cookers should undergo integrity test to correct every likely leakage of gas from the cookers.
He, however, advised users of cooking gas not to open the gas cylinder before striking the match or fire, as the pressure of the gas can lead to a possible explosion.
Speaking on safety of operators in the industry, Mrs. C.N. Njuku stressed the need for operators to adhere to various design consideration/ approvals and requirements such as layout, spacing and distance requirements for vessels, drainage and containment control.
She noted that additional considerations such as fireproofing, water-draw system, and relief systems are also important with respect to the integrity of the installation and risk reduction.
According to her, stakeholders in the industry should ensure the proliferation of the LPG plant and prospective plant operators must follow due to obtain approval for the commencement of any intended gas project.
Njoku argued that it is unethical for depots storing or coastal LPG to continue operation without a quality control laboratory even if an MOU is signed with a third party. “To stem the tide over fire accident, all product reception points must establish a functional laboratories, depots for products re-certification.
“Additional considerations such as fireproofing, water-draw system, and relief systems are also important with respect to integrity of the installation and risk reduction, adding that DPR aim is to increase monitoring of operations in order to ensure that it is done in a safe and secure manner and required by extant petroleum regulations,” she stated. On his part, the National President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Marketers, NALPGAM, Mr. Basil Ogbuanu, urged operators in the industry to think safety first in their operations. According to him, NALPGAM is in partnership with DPR and has over the years reported issues of irregularities from tank farms that pose risk to operations.