Have you noticed how high-profile the news about a gas explosion in residential buildings is getting? Have you ever wondered why this is happening? The answer is simple - not only residents of gasified buildings may be at risk, but also those who do not use this type of fuel at all. Therefore, after the gas explodes in the apartment, everyone wants to know the reason.
By tracking tragic stories, people replenish their stock of knowledge about the causes of the leak, the rules of operation, and possible violations. The legislation describes in some detail the requirements for gas pipelines, equipment and use cases. But rarely does anyone look into legislative acts in order to correctly install a stove or cylinder, to perform installation or transfer of pipes. And specialized services are not able to track all the actions of residents.
To get a complete picture of the causes of domestic explosions, their scale and consequences, we analyzed the accidents accounted for by statistics. The article below contains a list of hazards, as well as expert advice on correcting deficiencies, even if the dangerous equipment belongs to strangers.
The content of the article:
- The main causes of gas explosions
Differences in the explosion of methane and propane
- Explosive concentration of methane
- Explosive concentration of propane
- Domestic gas explosion prevention
- Explosion hazard procedures
- If the explosion has already occurred
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
The main causes of gas explosions
To understand what can explode ordinary household gas, it is enough to turn to the summaries of gas services. The "honorable" first place in prevalence is occupied by the illiterate storage of propane cylinders.
Leaking old containers have been lying on the mezzanine, in closets, kitchen niches under the window for years. One small spark is enough to explode the accumulated fuel.
A common mistake is the sudden movement of containers with gas from cold to warm. Often observed when storing cylinders on the balcony. A change in temperature provokes a rapid expansion of the substance, an explosion
In second place are errors associated with careless installation of equipment - falling cylinders or heating them by nearby heating devices quite often becomes the reason detonation.
On the third, there were faults main gas pipeline, leaks due to installation errors: leaking connections, worn hoses, incorrect connecting plates. This also includes unauthorized changes to the project, excluding effective ventilation, independent connection of additional equipment.
The fourth place is given to the inattention of users, allowing the nozzles of the stove to be flooded with liquid. Once on the nozzle, water extinguishes the fire, but does not block the gas outlet. The accumulation of explosive in the absence of ventilation quickly reaches critical values.
Often, residents of apartment buildings use a gas stove to heat the room. Some even leave the equipment on overnight. This cannot be done, since a stove left unattended is a source of danger.
And the last, fifth place has been kept for many years by the irresponsibility of the owners of old cylinders. Having decided to give the container a new life, practical residents saw, cut, in various ways open the tankto adapt to different needs. This is a gross mistake.
Even a cylinder that appears to be completely empty always contains residual gas. Therefore, every action aimed at self-opening is a step towards disaster.
Differences in the explosion of methane and propane
Having looked at the statistics of domestic gas explosions, it is easy to notice the dependence of the frequency of accidents on the type of fuel. There are far more accidents with propane than with methane.
Professional gasmen explain this by the fact that methane is used when supplying fuel through the served lines. The networks are regularly checked, repaired and updated. The operation of equipment with propane, on the contrary, is rarely monitored and, in fact, is given to the responsibility of ordinary users.
Propane-butane mixtures used to fill cylinders are heavier than air. When they leak, they accumulate in the lower part of the room, creating all the conditions for an explosion. Natural gas is lighter than air and more mobile. Therefore, if it leaks, there is a greater chance that the ventilation system will cope with gas pollution.
The power of the methane explosion is almost twice as high. However, propane generates more heat - it is more efficient as a fuel. Therefore, the explosion of propane cylinders is accompanied by intense combustion, and the main destructive force of methane is a blast wave.
Explosive concentration of methane
The lower value of the explosive concentration of natural gas is 4.4% of the total volume of air masses. The peak explosiveness is reached at a concentration of 9.5%. When the air is filled by more than 17%, methane simply burns, does not threaten an explosion, but can have a toxic effect on humans.
It is possible to accurately calculate the concentration of natural gas in the air only with the help of instruments - special sensors. But it is easy to understand that a leak has occurred already when 1 percent of the air masses are filled. It is when this value is reached that a person is able to distinguish well the specific smell of a substance.
Explosive concentration of propane
The chance to organize an explosion with a propane leak appears already when 1.7% of the mixture is in the air. Explosive at concentrations up to 10.9% remains. Like methane, propane-butane mixtures can have a detrimental effect on the nervous system. In this case, the victims complain of intensifying symptoms of poisoning.
A useful thing for assessing the composition of air is the gas sensor. Today, there are products on the market that give a signal of gas contamination by means of color and sound indicators. The best option is a sensor that automatically cuts off the fuel supply in the event of a leak
Since household balloon mixtures do not smell, they are supplemented with odorants - strong smelling substances. Having a very pungent odor, such substances quickly attract the attention of owners of gas equipment in the event of a leak. Therefore, with due attention, it is not difficult to notice the danger in time.
Domestic gas explosion prevention
Knowing why gas explodes in apartments most often, you can draw up a list of actions to prevent accidents.
It will include:
- operation of authorized equipment that is within the expiration date;
- connection and installation carried out by professionals with admission;
- competent storage and installation of cylinders;
- coordination of all project changes with the gas service;
- regular inspection of the gas pipeline, connections and equipment by gas workers;
- maintaining the ventilation system in working order;
- cooking on a gas stove with the constant presence of adult capable people;
- use of the equipment strictly for its intended purpose.
In addition, it is important to listen for odors and monitor the tightness of the valves, cranes, flange connections. At the slightest suspicion, contact the gas service supplying fuel.
Unfortunately, the reviews of those living in gasified houses contain many messages about a formal approach to servicing gas equipment. To avoid this, you should look at the list of mandatory works and make sure that all the declared activities have been carried out in full.
Since apartment buildings make tenants dependent on each other, sometimes you have to monitor not only your own gas equipment. In the event that neighbors violate safety precautions, you must write a statement to the gas service.
It must indicate the exact address, the reason for the appeal, the names of the residents who signed the statement, information about the violators, the date of fixation. The reason may be the presence of prohibited equipment, violation of operating rules, the smell of gas.
Explosion hazard procedures
An incorrectly opened or dropped balloon will leave no choice - the substance will detonate instantly. And when a leak is found, there is almost always time to neutralize the gas. A leak can be detected in four ways: by means of gas analyzers, by soaping the joints, when an odor appears, the feeling of outgoing cold from the joints.
In all cases it is necessary:
- Arrange intensive ventilation.
- Close the gas valve.
- Remove people and animals from the premises, warn neighbors.
- Contact the gas emergency department.
It is better to call the rescuers when you are out on the street. Before the arrival of specialists, it is advisable to monitor the entrance to the house so that no one can enter the gas-polluted apartments.
For quick orientation in emergency situations, you should know in advance the features of dialing emergency numbers of your mobile operator. Subscribers of Megafon, MTS and TELE2 can call the gas service by dialing 040. Using the services of Beeline, you need to dial 004, being serviced by Motiv - 104
The main thing is that if a leak is found, leave the room quickly and without panic. Therefore, if you find it difficult to find cranes or open windows, it is better to leave everything as it is and go outside.
If the explosion has already occurred
The explosion algorithm is identical. If possible, close the valves and leave the room. When calling, you should indicate the fact of an explosion, seek help from doctors, firefighters and gas workers. The call can be made on a single phone number 112.
According to the observations of the rescuers, the panic of the residents is becoming a significant obstacle to the coordinated actions of the emergency services. Therefore, during rescue operations, it is advisable to calm down and accurately follow the instructions of specialists.
In 90 percent of cases, a gas explosion is accompanied by a fire. Therefore, the actions in such an accident are identical to the rescue from the fire.
- Press a damp cloth bandage to your face, breathe only through it.
- Determine the exit path. If it is blocked by local fires, try to neutralize them by throwing a blanket and thick outerwear over the hearth.
- If it is not possible to exit through the main entrance, the chances of leaving the premises through the windows should be assessed.
In some situations, it is wiser to wait for rescuers than to evacuate on your own. Therefore, it is important to correctly assess the risks, not to panic.
Leaving the apartment after the explosion, you cannot use the elevator. The mine quickly fills with smoke, equipment stops functioning and gets stuck between floors
After leaving the house, rescuers advise to move away from the building as far as possible, stay at a safe distance until all sources of danger have been eliminated. Residents are notified of this by emergency services.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
In the video, the specialist once again lists the main causes of accidents, mentions the need for constant monitoring of the gas pipeline, shows samples of automatic gas analyzers:
Can a propane cylinder explode? Yes! Can natural gas explode in an apartment? Yes. Any fuel is a source of danger. Therefore, it is imperative to comply with all rules and regulations for the storage, installation and operation of gas equipment.
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