Delivery lead time  1 - 3 Business days

Gas myths and facts

No items found.

Gas Cylinder Myths vs. Facts: Debunking Common Misconceptions


Gas cylinders are a common sight in many South African households, used for cooking, heating, and other purposes. However, along with their widespread use, various myths and misconceptions about gas cylinders have also proliferated. These myths can lead to misunderstandings and even unsafe practices. In this article, we'll debunk some of the most prevalent myths surrounding gas cylinders and separate fact from fiction.


Gas cylinders will explode easily

One of the most persistent myths about gas cylinders is that they are prone to exploding, creating fear among consumers. However, the reality is quite different. Gas cylinders are designed and manufactured to strict safety standards, making them highly resilient to explosions under normal conditions. Gas explosions can cause devastating damage and loss. Proper safety measures and awareness are crucial for prevention and mitigation. Gas explosions are highly dangerous events that can result from leaks or ignitions. They pose significant risks to life and property. Proper handling, regular maintenance, and prompt detection are essential for preventing and minimizing the impact of gas explosions.


Why gas cylinder explodes? It is due to factors like leaks, improper handling, or exposure to heat sources. When gas leaks accumulate in an enclosed space and ignite, the rapid combustion can lead to a powerful explosion.


Fact: Gas cylinders are engineered with several safety features to prevent explosions. These include pressure relief valves, which release excess pressure if it builds up inside the cylinder, and sturdy materials such as steel or aluminum to withstand high pressures. While accidents involving gas cylinders can occur, they are rare and often the result of mishandling or neglecting safety precautions. Gas cylinders can explode due to improper storage, such as being kept indoors, leading to pressure buildup. Additionally, damage to the cylinder, like corrosion or physical impact, can weaken its integrity, making it more susceptible to ruptures and explosions.


Top of Form



To minimize the risk of accidents, it's crucial to handle gas cylinders properly, store them in well-ventilated areas away from heat sources, and never tamper with them or attempt to repair them yourself and we have explained why gas cylinder explodes.


Gas cylinder colour indicates quality or contents

Another common misconception is that the colour of a gas cylinder signifies its quality or the type of gas it contains. In South Africa, gas cylinders are available in various colours, leading some consumers to believe that certain colours are associated with superior quality or specific gas types.


Fact: In reality, the colour of a gas cylinder is primarily used for identification and safety purposes, rather than indicating its contents or quality. Different gas suppliers may use different colours for their cylinders to distinguish their products in the market. For example, some companies use blue for oxygen cylinders and red for acetylene cylinders, while others may use different colour schemes.


When purchasing or handling gas cylinders, it's essential to rely on the labels and markings provided by the manufacturer or supplier to determine the type of gas inside and ensure safe usage.


Gas leaks are always detectable by smell

Many people believe that gas leaks are always accompanied by a distinct odor, making them easy to detect. While it's true that some gases, such as propane and natural gas, are odorized to make leaks more noticeable, not all gases have a detectable smell.


Fact: While some gases are odorized for safety reasons, others, such as carbon monoxide, are odorless and colorless, making them difficult to detect without specialized equipment. Additionally, factors such as ventilation and the concentration of gas in the air can affect its detectability.


To mitigate the risk of gas leaks, it's essential to install gas detectors in your home, especially in areas where gas appliances are used. Regular maintenance and inspections of gas equipment by qualified professionals can also help prevent leaks and ensure safe usage.


A gas leak detector is a device designed to detect the presence of gas leaks in indoor or outdoor environments. It works by sensing the concentration of gas in the air and triggering an alarm or visual indicator to alert users to the potential hazard. Gas leak detectors are essential safety devices used in homes, businesses, and industrial settings to prevent accidents and protect against the dangers of gas leaks, such as fire, explosions, and health hazards.


Gas cylinder safety is critical for preventing accidents. It includes proper handling, storage, and maintenance to minimize risks such as leaks, explosions, and fires. Regular inspections, adherence to safety guidelines, and using certified equipment are essential for ensuring gas cylinder safety.


Gas cylinders should be stored indoors

Where is gas stored? Gas is stored in cylinders, tanks, and pipelines, including residential cylinders for cooking, industrial tanks, and underground storage facilities. There is a common misconception on where is gas stored indoors to protect them from external elements and potential theft. However, storing gas cylinders indoors can pose significant safety risks, particularly in the event of a leak or accidental ignition.


Fact: Gas cylinders should always be stored outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from heat sources, ignition points, and direct sunlight. Storing cylinders indoors can increase the risk of gas buildup, which, in the event of a leak, could lead to a dangerous explosion or fire.


So where to store gas bottles outside? When storing gas cylinders outdoors, it's essential to ensure they are secured in an upright position and protected from damage. Avoid storing cylinders near electrical outlets, flammable materials, or areas where they may be exposed to excessive heat or moisture. Gas bottles should be stored outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from heat sources, ignition points, and direct sunlight.


Gas storage involves the containment of gases in cylinders, tanks, or pipelines. Gas storage facilities are essential to ensure safety, prevent leaks, and maintain the integrity of the gas until it is used or transported.


Gas cylinder expiry dates are arbitrary

Some consumers believe that the expiry dates stamped on gas cylinders are arbitrary and have no real significance. They may assume that as long as the cylinder appears to be in good condition, it can continue to be used indefinitely. Gas cylinder expiry dates South Africa are mandated to ensure safety. These dates are based on industry standards and regulations, indicating when cylinders should be inspected, tested, and recertified to ensure continued safe usage.


Fact: Gas cylinder expiry dates are not arbitrary but are instead based on safety regulations and industry standards. Over time, gas cylinders can degrade due to factors such as corrosion, metal fatigue, and deterioration of internal components. Expiry dates are intended to ensure that cylinders are regularly inspected and tested for safety.


Using an expired gas cylinder can pose serious risks, including leaks, ruptures, and explosions. It's essential to adhere to expiry dates and have cylinders inspected and recertified by authorized professionals when necessary.


Can gas explode without fire? Yes, gas can explode without fire due to factors like pressure buildup or chemical reactions. For example, if a gas cylinder is damaged or compromised, it may rupture spontaneously, releasing its contents with explosive force, even without an external ignition source.



Fact-checking gas cylinder myths

In conclusion, while gas cylinders are a convenient and essential part of many South African households, it's crucial to separate fact from fiction when it comes to common myths and misconceptions. By understanding the facts and following proper safety guidelines, consumers can use gas cylinders safely and confidently.


Some gases, like natural gas and methane, are odorless. Gas without smell can make leaks harder to detect, posing serious safety risks. Gas companies add a distinctive odorant to these gases to help alert people to potential leaks.


Gas without smell, like natural gas and methane, presents both advantages and disadvantages:


1.  Reduced environmental impact: Odorants added to gases for detection purposes can contribute to air pollution. Odorless gas eliminates this issue.

2. Enhanced safety in certain applications: In industrial processes where odorants can interfere with chemical reactions, odorless gas may be preferred.


1. Increased safety risks: Without a distinct smell, leaks of odorless gases can go undetected, potentially leading to accidents, fires, or explosions.

2. Limited leak detection methods: Odorless gases require specialized equipment for leak detection, which may not be readily available in all settings.



To ensure the safe handling and usage of gas cylinders:


Handle cylinders with care and follow manufacturer's instructions.

Store cylinders outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from heat sources.

Install gas detectors in your home to detect leaks.

Adhere to expiry dates and have cylinders inspected and recertified when necessary.

By debunking these myths and promoting accurate information, we can help ensure the safety of individuals and communities who rely on gas cylinders for their daily needs.

back to blogs
Cape Town's trusted supplier of gas to households and businesses
Order gas online