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email article print article08 Gas

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Often the cheapest and most convenient energy source for cooking, water heating, and room heating is gas.  In Lisbon there is a piped town gas supply.  Gás de Portugal, SGPS, SA imports natural gas from Africa, and is installing distribution networks from Porto to as far south as the Setúbal peninsular.  Some housing estates or blocks of flats, especially in the Algarve, have communal piped gas from a central storage tank, these usually supply propane.  However, most houses still rely on bottled gas.  Both butane and propane are available, butane is the most commonly used and comes in both 11kg and 45kg bottles.

Unfortunately gas appliances are the cause of accidents leading to hospitalisation of about 300 people in Portugal a year.  The Government has reacted to this by strengthening the building regulations, creating a system for licensing gas installers and gas inspectors, and requiring regular inspections of accommodation.  Pro Teste, the Consumer Association's magazine, has published an investigation about gas installations and gas safety.  The following information is largely drawn from that article.

Pro Teste points out that the consumer is responsible for ensuring that their domestic gas system is properly installed and well maintained.  This includes the pipe work, the appliances and the ventilation system.  They consider gas not to be dangerous if it is used correctly and if the appliances are in good condition and are properly installed.  However, in the study they found that the majority of houses visited were at risk because of incorrect installation of appliances or because of worn flexible rubber hoses.

What are the main types of accident?

The most frequent type of accident is explosion.  Domestic gas therefore has an odour added to it to warn of a leak.  The other type of accident is carbon monoxide poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, toxic gas.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: ye

 

Date Inserted: 23 June 2007
Last Updated: 23 August 2011
 
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