As winter casts its first icy grip on South Africa this week, there are already reports of snow, sleet and icy winds bearing down on homes from the Western Cape to Gauteng. Heaters around the country will be turned on for warmth. When using gas heaters and other LPG appliances, it is important to always put safety first.
Afrox, which is a market leader with its Handigas LPG range, offers a number of useful tips to keep yourself warm and safe this winter. When connecting a gas appliance to the gas cylinder, always ensure that the connection is made correctly and is gas tight – a smell of gas will occur if the connection is not tight. All gas appliances have rubber or fibre washers to seal the gas tightly at the point of connection to the gas cylinder.
Afrox head of LPG Mark Radford notes that it is also important to always check that this washer or seal is in place and is in good condition. “The rubber or fibre seals and hoses wear over time, and need to be checked periodically and replaced occasionally. It is essential to keep the gas jets clean, and they should be inspected for dust and dirt before the appliance is connected to the cylinder.”
When turning the LP gas on, the valve only needs to be turned one-and-a-half times, states Radford. “When lighting gas appliances that don’t have auto ignition, first light a match or lighter, hold it to the gas burner, then open the gas. The gas will ignite immediately and the flame temperature will go from 0 °C to 1 970°C instantly,” he continues.
Even on the coldest winter nights, it is important to always have a window slightly open in any room where a gas appliance is being used, in order to ensure that fresh air is readily-available. Radford adds: “When turning the appliance off for the night, make sure to shut off the gas supply at the LPG cylinder, which should always be placed on a firm and stable surface.”
Radford points out that all fixed LPG appliances are subjected to the same legal requirements as electrical installations. “It is, therefore, a legal requirement that all fixed LPG appliances are fitted and piped to outside gas cylinders, which must be installed by a certified LPG installer.”
Beware of rogue fillers
Whether refilling an LPG cylinder for residential or industrial use, Radford stresses the importance of going to authorised distributors, and thoroughly checking cylinders for authenticity. “Unfortunately, illegal fillers trick many consumers into thinking that they are authorised, due to the fact that have genuine Handigas cylinders. However, these cylinders are often illegally filled and have been found to include a mixture of other contents that make their product extremely dangerous,” he observes.
All Afrox-accredited refilled Handigas cylinders are sealed with a distinctive branded Afrox red seal of safety, which enables the customer to identify the legitimate product instantly. What’s more, they also feature serial numbers that can be traced. Radford advises consumer not buy cylinders that have clear seals, or generic LPG branding, as these cylinders have been illegally filled and may be a safety risk. He also warns that retail outlets that feature a mixture of different branded cylinders in one enclosure are often unauthorised too. “A legitimate distributor is unlikely to sell a number of different LPG brands.”
In order to overcome this pervasive challenge, and to ensure the highest degree of safety for its customers, Afrox offers dedicated support and advice on LPG purchases. Anyone unsure about the authenticity of their Handigas cylinder or their distributor can visit www.afrox.co.za or www.handigas.co.za. For telephonic enquiries call 0860 020202.
Notes to the Editor
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African Oxygen Limited (Afrox) is sub-Saharan Africa’s market leader in gases and welding products. Afrox was founded in 1927, listed on the JSE in 1963, and has prospered by constantly meeting the needs of customers and developing solutions that add value to customer applications. Afrox operates in South Africa and in ten other African countries. It also manages operations in five additional countries on behalf of its parent company, The Linde Group - a global gases, engineering and technology company.
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Afrox Head of LPG
Phone: (011) 490 0400
Email: mark [dot] radford [at] afrox [dot] linde [dot] com