Saturday, January 3, 2009

Real life incident: Gas (LPG) leakage at home

This year (2009) it was unusual me staying back in my home on the New Year Eve. I had my dinner @ 10pm and went to play Crusader in my PC. Before I could realize it was 2 am. So I went to sleep to start the day early that day.

I was still thinking in my mind that I need to wake early to pick up Shankar, who was coming from Hyderabad. This usually happens, that i would wake up at the time I have fixed in my mind (Could miss on few occasions due to sys malfunction). I got up at 7 am, and called Shankar and found that he came through Chennai Exp, which arrived @ 5:30 am, and is in his home. Even before I could hang up the call my mom came running, she was really in the panic mode.

She shouted out of fear, Hari come fast!!!. Her face said something was really wrong. I sprigged out of my bed, rushed in to the kitchen. My dad was holding on to the gas cylinder. I was confused. But I know some thing is wrong and my dad said that the valve in the Cylinder is not locking. He had tried to replace the regulator, and when he removed the regulator the gas started to leak out since the valve is not closing (It is the valve that closes the cylinder when it is kept alone). The gas was coming out in full pressure. Using his thumb he closed the outlet, still I was able to hear the gas escaping. So I asked him to take away his hand, same moment I took control. First I used my thumb, it was the same sound when the balloon flatten. So I asked him to pull the cylinder to get better control. Now I used my palm to seal it applying my body weight directly on it. It is now under control. But am not able to hold on to it.

IT WORKED............

Something needs to be done. Calling emergency number will take at least a minute, and to get help it would take several more. But am counting in seconds, am not able to hold on, still have to be confident to keep my parents ensured that everything is under control. But it was slipping away. I was able to think about Insulation tape, Plaster of Paris, Cement mixture from a near by construction site to seal it. But would do too little to manage this high pressure, what else can hold this high pressure?? The gas regulator, coz when the regulator is on, it would hold this same pressure. So I need to put the regulator back before anything could happen. Before my thought process is done my hand grabbed the regulator and fixed it and I turned it to Off mode.

THANK GOD...........

I dono what stopped me from going out that night. It is really unusual for me. Also the kitchen in my house shares the space with the Pooja Ghar. And it is my Fathers routine to light the Oil lamp there at 6 in the morning. But it did not happen that day since my Grand Mother had passed away the previous week, and we were observing mourning for 16 days.

After all this drama, I called the Gas company to send in help. The Phone is ringing and there is no answer. May be it is too early for a emergency or they might be closed for New Year day. Later my mom called them the next day, they have informed that they will collect the cylinder after it is used up and the pressure is released. This is what I call EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Still a great memory to hold and share, so  that it may help someone in a similar situation. Go for the gas regulator when you see a gas leakage through the gas valve.

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