Petroleum Gas Safety

Storage of Cylinders

13 JUNE 2019


Storerooms should be of fire-proof construction and so designed that in the event of fire, the cylinders are easily removable.

Storerooms should be well ventilated, top and bottom, and must never be below ground level.

Light fittings, as well as all electric switches in stores containing acetylene, Handigas or other flammable gases, should either be of the flame-proof type, or should be placed outside thebuilding lighting the interior through fixed windows. ‘NO SMOKING – NO NAKED LIGHTS’ symbolic signs, should be posted in the area of the store.

Handigas cylinders stored inside a building on an industrial user’s premises should be limited to a total mass of 19kg per 600m3 of building space with a total maximum of 100kg.

Where Handigas is stored in bulk, reference should be made to SABS 087 Part 1 and Part 3. Since these may be updated from time to time, it is important to ensure that reference is made to the latest issue.

Afrox Limited has a specialised department for the installation of gas distribution systems, storage vessels, etc.

Handigas cylinders exceeding a total capacity of 19kg should not be installed or kept inside a private home or a place of business frequented by the public. Cylinders must be kept cool, and should be protected from sunlight, rain, frost, wet soil and corrosive conditions. If cylinders have to stand in the open, they should be protected from the rays of the sun. Do not use tarpaulins or any other cover which comes in direct contact with the cylinders as a protection against the sun.

Full or empty combustible gas cylinders should be kept apart using ‘ful’ and ’empty’ notices to prevent confusion and mistakes.

The valves of empty cylinders should always be firmly closed to prevent ‘breathing’. If a cylinder is found with the valve open, close it and attach a note stating this fact, e.g.

‘WARNING – CYLINDER VALVE LEFT OPEN WHEN CYLINDER EMPTY’ . This will ensure that moisture and purity tests are carried out before the cylinder is refilled. Oxygen should not be stored with flammable gases such as acetylene and Handigas. Acetylene and Handigas cylinders should NOT be stacked horizontally, but should always be stored in an upright position.

Oxygen cylinders may be stacked horizontally provided that they are firmly secured at each end to prevent rolling.

If cylinders are exposed to heat, the pressure of the gas content will increase, and a dangerous situation may arise.Therefore, store all cylinders well away from sources of heat such as furnaces, stoves, boilers and radiators as well as potential fire hazards.

Oil and grease will ignite violently in the presence of oxygen and if the latter is under pressure this may result in an explosion. Cylinders and fittings should be kept away from overhead shafting, cranes or belts.

Prevent dirt, grit of any sort, oil or any other lubricant from entering the cylinder valves and store cylinders well clear of any corrosive influence, e.g. battery acid. Do not lubricate the valve spindle.

Do not smoke, wear oily or greasy clothes, or have any naked light or fire in a place where compressed gases are stored.

When returning any cylinder which may have been accidentally overheated, damaged or contaminated, Afrox should be advised, so that they can take the necessary precautions before refilling.




29 APRIL 2019



JOHANNESBURG – It’s become clear to South Africans that the country’s power grid is severely strained, as Eskom has continued to implement regular load-shedding, and the price of electricity has increased.

The effect this has on consumers and the industry has been a generally negative one, with many organisations being unable to manage the power cuts and predict the future pressures the grid could undergo. This has led to a new trend, where businesses and households are making use of liquid petroleum gas (LP gas), according to George Davis of Risk Benefit Solutions (RBS).

“LS gas is cheaper, more efficient and in some cases more environmentally friendly. It can however be very dangerous to use if not operated properly,” he said.

While most people make sure of LP gas in a closed system (portable heaters and camping stoves, for instance), if installed incorrectly in open systems – such as built in stoves and fridges – it can be extremely dangerous.

In fact, it is illegal to install a fixed appliance, equipment or system for LP gas fuel, unless someone has a certificate of registration.

Davis explained that there are regulations that businesses and consumers need to be aware of when installing gas:


Gas bottles may not be installed:

            Less than 1 metre sideways from doors and windows;

            Less than 2 metres from drains and air vents;

            Less than 3 metres below windows (unless a non-combustible roof is installed);

            Less than 1 metre from the property boundary wall (unless it is a fire wall);

            Less than 5 metres sideways away from a switchable electric point or plug switch;

            Light bulbs cannot be less than 1.5 metres above a gas bottle.


Other installation rules:

Only class 1 or 2 copper pipes, or other approved gas piping, may be used (Note: This is not the same copper piping as used by plumbers);

                Copper pipes going through a wall must be sleeved;

Approved flexible gas hose may not be more than two meters long and may not go through any partition (including wood, dry wall, cupboard wall etc);

Request a Certificate of Conformity for Gas Appliances: The Machinery and Occupational Safety Act of 1993 require owners of buildings to hold a certificate of compliance in respect of any electrical installation. This has now also been extended to include a compliance certificate of conformity of gas installations.


“It is important to ensure from a safety perspective, as well as a legal and claims aspect, that the gas installer is properly licensed, as failure to do so could result in a claim being repudiated, and / or the installation not being compliant with regulations,” Davis said. 



Petroleum Gas Safety


The Use of LP Gas in the Hospitality Industry Read More Here

Be safe, know the law, protect yourself and use Liquified Petroleum Gas safely.

Why do I need to use a registered LPGas Installer? According to the Law, LPGas appliances must be installed and serviced safely, by a Registered LPGas Installer.

If someone other than a Registered LPGas Installer does the gas work, it is illegal and you could be risking your safety and property.

All Registered LPGas Installers are issued with an identification card. This card contains their SAQCC registration number and level of expertise. Every completed installation must be issued with a Certificate of Conformity as required by Law (PER regulations).

HOW do I find a registered LP Gas Installer? There are Registered Installers throughout the country and a regularly updated list is available at the following website: If you do not have access to the Internet, please feel free to contact us on: 0860 10 20 03 (office hours)

You can also find your nearest Registered Installer, by simply sending an SMS with the word “gas”, followed by a space, followed by your suburb to 33311.

LPGas appliancesare required to conform with theNational Standards and legal requirements. Such products should have a verification permit obtained by LP Gas Safety.

The LPGas Safety Association is working hard to stamp out illegal gas work. Saving Rands may seem like a good idea, but getting an illegal gas installation done, could put you, your business and family´s lives at risk. Illegal LPGas workers often do not have the qualifications and skills to carry out gas work safely. It is our priority to protect everyone from unsafe gas
work. If you think someone is working on gas illegally, tell us and we will investigate.

In the interests of a safer South Africa
Dennis M Herold
Chief Executive Officer
LPGas Safety Association of SA
+27 11 886 9702 (T)
+27 11 886 0770 (F)