Improper transport of LPG

Energy, no matter what form it is in plays a vital role every nation of this work and its importance can be seen in every facet of life. In countries like Guyana where gas is not connected via an advance distribution line to homes, liquefied petroleum gas use as fuel for cooking and other domestic purposes is sold via very hazardous means by retailers and small businesses. What is perplexing is that this has been done for years, unnoticed or not by the Guyana Fire Service. This particular emergency service has had a very reactive nature for years and now that it has been in the spotlight as a result the large number of fires its shortcomings are glaring. However, that’s the subject for another discussion. Of note is that this ‘unnoticed’ hazardous transport of liquefied petroleum gas by retailers have now caught the attention of authorities after an incident involving a truck which caught fire with small LPG containers.
According to the GFS, firefighters from the Eccles Fire Station rushed to Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara on April 4, after a truck transporting LPG was reported to be on fire.
Reports were that the canter truck was proceeding to Land of Canaan, EBD when a fire started in the cabin. The canter was completely destroyed along with a quantity of LP gas cylinders.
This incident has highlighted the need for enforcement of regulatory frameworks in relation to the trucking of such products in Guyana. Even with regulation there is also need for periodic inspections of these cylinders and where there is violation, law enforcement agencies can deal with these matters thought our legal avenues.
In a reactive nature, the GFS shared the following precaution after the incident at Garden of Eden and in the interest of public safely and the need for better safety measures we reshare the following:
Practices of improper transportation of petroleum products in Guyana, with some individuals resorting to transporting these substances on the tops of vans, minibuses, and trucks, pose significant risks to public safety and the environment.
Guyana Fire Service urge members of the general public and businesses involved in the transportation of such products to adhere strictly to the following guidelines:
• Petroleum products should only be transported in containers that have been approved for such use by regulatory authorities. These containers should be designed to prevent leakage and spillage during transit.
• Petroleum products should be securely stored within the vehicle, preferably in the designated cargo area. Under no circumstances should these products be transported on the top of vehicles.
• There must be enough ventilation within the vehicle to minimize the risk of buildup of flammable vapors. Vehicles should be equipped with proper ventilation systems to prevent the accumulation of hazardous gases.
• Do not overload vehicles with petroleum products beyond their capacity. Overloading can increase the risk of spills, leaks, and accidents.
• Familiarize yourself with and adhere to all relevant regulations and guidelines set by the Guyana Energy Agency and other regulatory bodies regarding the transportation and storage of petroleum products.
• Maintain appropriate emergency response measures, including the presence of fire extinguishers and spill containment materials, in case of accidents or incidents during transportation.
• Vehicles must display warning signs (red writing against white backgrounds) indicating the presence of highly flammable or hazardous materials. These signs should be prominently displayed and easily readable from a distance.
We therefore call for members of the public to adhere to the proper guidelines to avoid any further accidents. We must however state that part of ensuring safety also includes having training and education. This is an area the GFS and the Guyana Energy Agency should explore with an aim of ensuring that all businesses – large or small – engage in proper safety approaches when transportation petroleum products.