Proper gas installation vital

I write in response to your Friday 12 June article, ‘Gas explosion raises concerns.’

After speaking to the author of that article, he confirmed to me that when he wrote the words ‘dangerous home gas installation’ he was strictly referring to the people who take it upon themselves to install gas appliances in their homes – and was in no way speaking about Home Gas Ltd installations.

At Home Gas, our biggest priority, first and last, is to ensure the safe usage of propane by residences and businesses across the Cayman Islands. Every single installation Home Gas does is done in strict adherence to the NFPA codes governing propane safety.

Our technicians are highly-trained professionals, who understand the importance of ensuring every step is absolutely followed in safely installing a propane appliance or storage tank. In fact, Home Gas has even trained technicians from other appliance dealers as a way to ensure the safety of the installations done here.

The explosions which have recently taken place are the direct result of people using unsafe appliances which do not have safety shut-off valves or from bringing gas tanks inside their homes.

Home Gas strongly encourages everyone here to make sure that their appliances are UL-listed and/or CSA-approved. These designations certify that the appliance has been tested and is safe for usage. If you are unsure about your appliance, please call Home Gas and we will help you determine if your appliance has the requisite safety shut-off valve that prevents propane gas from free-flowing in the absence of a flame.

It is vitally important to remind the public that bringing a 20-lb cylinder inside your home or business is illegal and unsafe, even if it is only for storage purposes.

It is especially unsafe if that 20-lb cylinder is used for cooking indoors or powering other propane appliances. We urge residents not to resort to the unsafe use of a propane cylinder hooked up to an appliance in your home. This is against the regulations in the Cayman Islands and you will be fined if caught doing that. More importantly, you risk the safety of everyone in your home and others in your community as well.

Home Gas routinely inspects the installations where it delivers propane gas to, and if it is determined an installation has not been done in accordance with the NFPA safety code, the gas will not be delivered.

We are doing our best to educate the public about using propane safely, but we have no way of knowing how many people out there are bringing 20-lb and 100-lb cylinders into their homes or hooking them up unsafely in a make-shift manner.

Home Gas is working closely with the Cayman Islands Fire Service and Building Control Unit to ensure that the National Fire Protection Association Code #54 and National Fuel Gas Code #58 are mandatory for all new and existing propane installations island wide.

Listed below are some of the Cayman Islands Fire Service and Building Control Unit requirements to ensure that all propane gas installations provide adequate safety and protection to life and property:

– All propane cylinders must be installed or stored outside your home or business;

– 100lb cylinders must be installed at least three feet away from doors and windows;

– 100lb cylinders must be installed outside at least five feet away from exhaust or make up air fans;

– 100lb cylinders must be installed at least five feet away from ignition sources, including A/C units and water pressure systems;

– 100lb cylinders must be installed on a level concrete slab 24′ by 48′;

– Only approved fittings can be used in a propane gas installation. Compression fittings are not to be used in a propane installation;

– Pressure regulators must be firmly attached to the building and pipe/tubing must be firmly attached to the structure;

– Propane deliverers must have unobstructed access for cylinder delivery;

– Garbage or flammable materials cannot be stored around cylinders;

– Multi-family apartments must locate 100 lb. cylinders in one area.

For any questions or concerns regarding the safe use of propane in home or businesses, please call Home Gas.

Katie O’Neill

Integrated Communications Manager

Home Gas Ltd.

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