Safety Procedures in Handling Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Growing up, I’ve always loved watching cooking programmes and one of my favourite local chefs is Chef Wan. Initially an accountant, he is now a well-known celebrity chef and Tourism Malaysia’s culinary ambassador.

Celebrity Chef Wan

Being a blogger in the Klang Valley has given me several opportunities to meet my idol in person with the latest being him judging a Gas PETRONAS cooking competition I was covering. It is always fun to see Chef Wan in action. Judging a cooking competition, he did not only write out scores for the contestants but went around giving constructive criticism. When he caught a contestant leaving his cooking unattended until it was slightly burnt, Chef Wan shared the importance of taking care of the safety aspects in the kitchen.

A cook’s job is not only to dish out delicious food but to ensure the kitchen (be it at home or at work) is safe at all times. To make this happen, it is important to use only certified equipment and get them checked regularly.

Most of us use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) at home but how many of us actually take the extra effort to follow the safety procedures when cooking and handling an LPG cylinder?

Times are different these days. People get distracted easily. Cooks get distracted easily. I get distracted easily. Nowadays, it’s no longer just cook and serve but often we cook, take a picture and Instagram it. With a smartphone in hand, we frequently steal a few more minutes to check updates while waiting for the stew to simmer a little longer. But what happens after that is we might get distracted and kept scrolling our phones until…

burnt pot

We smell something burning. Yes, the stew is burnt. If we are lucky, only the pot is ruined. Otherwise we are actually at risk of an exploding kitchen! While we can easily drive out to buy some cooked stew before our husbands get home so he won’t know what damage we had done to our cooking, not everyone is so lucky to escape with only a burnt meal and pot. Some unfortunate cases even resulted in a fire so it is extremely important never to leave our cooking unattended.

Remember, LPG is highly flammable so it is important to ensure good air ventilation while cooking. Open your kitchen windows or make sure the kitchen hood is switched on. This will get the air flowing.

The stove must always be placed higher than the gas cylinder and please DO NOT PLACE hot wok on the gas cylinder. For safety, it is recommended to have a minimum distance of  1.0 – 1.5 meters between the gas cylinder and stove. Store gas cylinder in a cool and airy place. Do not store them in an unventilated area and make sure the gas cylinder is laid up vertically.

lpg storage

When we designed our kitchen roughly a decade ago, no one told us to make sure that the gas cylinder storage area needs to be well ventilated. What was supposed to be the storage cabinet for the gas cylinder is now our mini pantry. Ok ok, I must admit that I’m not the neatest person on Earth but that is totally not the point here (we are talking about LPG, stay focus peeps :P)

Be alert on the condition of our kitchen. The appearance of insects on the regulator and odd smells from the gas cylinders means there is a gas leakage. If you suspect of a gas leakage, quickly turn off all sources of fire and seize using or operate electrical appliances immediately. Use soap water to check for gas leakages. If there are bubbles emerging from the pipe, you’ve definitely got a leakage. Contact PETRONAS Mesralink 1 300 888 181 for assistance but if there’s already a fire, please, PLEASE, call Fire & Rescue Department of Malaysia (BOMBA) ASAP at 999!

Having said all that, do you know that you are supposed to light the fire before switching on the stove? I was chatting with an old school friend today when she brought up the subject of cooking in school. We were both in the cooking club and were partners then. We thought of doing things ‘together’ from beginning to the end hence we delegate tasks equally. Her task was to light the fire while mine was to switch on the stove. I guess that was a bad idea as our timing was totally off. She was supposed to light the fire first before I switch on the stove but I was too fast and she ended up with no eyebrow that day. We laughed about it today because she survived that incident with just burnt eyebrows and red face but not everyone is as lucky as she was.

For further safety measures, do ensure that you use only equipment (gas regulator and hose) approved by SIRIM – Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia. They might cost a little extra but it’s worth the money. Better be safe than sorry. Check your gas regulator and hose from time to time. It is also encouraged to change the gas regulator every 5 years and hose every 2 years.

Last but not least, do switch off the stove and remove gas regulator valve when not in use especially when we are away on a long holiday. We won’t want to come home to a burnt down house now do we?

keep calm and cook

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About the Author: Merryn Tan

9 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Must really know all the safety procedures for LPG to stay safe! Thanks for sharing.

    • //

      You don’t cook one, no need to know lah XD

      • //

        My mother uses LPG lah. I must know to teach her lah!

  • //

    Wah ..such a long post ! Yeah , be careful when dealing with gas.Ensure there are good ventilation.

    • //

      Make sure it’s airy but not windy coz if windy and the flame got blown off while your soup is boiling is even worse, gas will fill up the kitchen.

  • //

    Light the fire before switching on? No gas, how? Mine had the switch, just press the button, the spark will ignite the fire…but press as soon as you turn on the gas or it will “explode”. :D One thing I’ve noticed – better to turn on/light the fire before placing a pot or pan or wok over it.

    • //

      Oh? Why is that so? Why is it better to light the fire before placing a wok over it? Mine is auto, just turn on the knob and the spark will ignite the flame. And I usually place a pot there before lighting the stove… :O

  • //

    That’s why I use induction cooker. *Quote from futuristic movies* Gas explodes, you know?! XD

    • //

      Induction stove cant cook ‘big wok’ meal, can it? I’ve never use it so not aware..

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