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There gas safety in the network is the responsibility of the distributor and is governed by resolutions no. 236/00, 168/04, 120/08 and 574/2013 / R / gas of the Authority for Energy (AAEE). However, these measures refer to gas when it is in the pipes, from the point of withdrawal to the redelivery point indicated in the bill. From then on, the responsibility lies with the user.
User systems must also comply with certain safety standards (resolution 40/04), but since gas is a very dangerous substance (there is a risk of explosions, bursts and fires), users should add some good rules of conduct. Here are 10.
Gas safety: 10 good rules
- You smoke. The products of gas combustion, ie the fumes, must flow out onto the roof through the chimneys and flues. This is essential for the safe use of gas appliances ..
- Facade drain. If the flue gas discharge on the roof is not possible, the direct discharge on the façade is allowed in compliance with the technical standards and only if permitted by municipal and provincial regulations.
- Fireplace and flue. They must be built in compliance with technical standards, but also periodically checked and cleaned to maintain their efficiency.
- Air exchange. Combustion of the gas requires a lot of air. The supply of air must be guaranteed by the mandatory ventilation opening to the outside. The size of the opening depends on the power of the appliances present, but it must never be less than 100 square cm. But be careful: if the cooking appliances are not equipped with the flame absence control device, the minimum becomes 200 square cm.
- Aspirators. The fans mounted on the hoods and windows help against odors but be careful because they remove a lot of air from the environment at the expense of ventilation. To compensate for its presence, the surface of the ventilation opening (see above) must be further increased.
- Rubber hose. The one connecting the cooking appliances must be of the type approved to the UNI-CIG 7140 technical standard. The rubber hose has a duration of 5 years and the expiry date is printed on the hose at regular intervals. In any case, its integrity should be checked. Warning: if the cooking appliances are built-in, the flexible tube cannot be made of rubber, but the stainless steel type must be used.
- Burners. In addition to reducing gas consumption, careful cleaning of the burners prevents the formation of toxic fuels that can be released into the air.
- Bathrooms and bedrooms. The installation of heating appliances and / or hot water production in bathrooms and bedrooms is always not recommended. In the absence of alternative solutions, the installation of type C, sealed chamber appliances is allowed. Other types of devices are prohibited.
- Cooking food. It must always be checked. Boiling liquids could overflow and extinguish the flame of the stove causing a dangerous gas leak in the absence of flame. The best hobs are those equipped with a flame control device.
- Verifications. Periodic checks are mandatory. For gas supply systems, the tightness of the system pipes must be checked at least once every 10 years (UNI 1137 standard). For heating systems with power below 35 kW, the boiler energy efficiency must be checked every 4 years (Presidential Decree 74/2013). In some regions, for example Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, the check must be done every 2 years.
Gas safety: what to do if you smell gas?
It is good that the general tap remains closed when you are not using gas, especially when you are away from home. That said, if you smell gas, the first thing to do is to make sure that a tap has not been accidentally left open. But be careful when there is a smell of gas:
- do not use matches or lighters;
- do not operate switches or electrical appliances;
- close the main tap or the central meter if possible;
- open doors and windows to ventilate the environment;
- call the distributor's emergency service using a telephone outside the home.
PDR gas: what it is and where it is