7 Methane Gas Safety Tips
Methane gas is one of the worst greenhouse gases. You’ll find plenty of it around cows, for instance, which produce more methane gas than anything else. Methane can also be dangerous, just like any other gas. That means you need to take precautions when around methane for your own safety
1 - Ventilation
You’re likely to find most methane when you’re around a livestock manure pile. Any area like this needs to be well ventilated, even if it means the odor will be spread on the air. If you have to close the area off, be sure to wear safety goggles when you enter, as the gas will have accumulated. If it’s a large area, wear a breathing mask when you first enter.
2 - Personal Safety
Personal protection is important when you’re around methane gas. Always wear safety goggles and a breathing mask. You don’t want to breathe in the methane gas so it enters your lungs, where it can burn.
3 - Dangers
Be aware that methane gas can asphyxiate. This is why it’s so important to have the area well-ventilated or have breathing equipment. It’s easy for the methane gas to displace the oxygen in the bloodstream. It can happen before you know you, and the result will be serious injury or even death.
4 - Explosions
Be aware that methane gas can be very explosive when it’s concentrated. When you’re around methane you should never smoke or have a naked flame-that’s just asking for trouble. The flash point for methane gas is very low. You should keep it away from oxygen, halogens and interhalogens to keep it safer. It’s vital that you not only treat methane with respect but also remain aware of just how volatile it can be.
5 - Manure Pits
If there’s a manure pit it should be well signposted and fenced off. No one should smoke in the vicinity of a manure pit because of the danger of an explosion and fire. Methane gas is lighter than air so it can spread very easily. When methane gas burns it produces both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, both of which can kill.
6 - Storage
It’s important to have the safe storage of methane gas. Containers of methane gas have to be in well-ventilated areas and away from all heat sources, including direct sunlight. If a fire does occur it’s vital to cut off the methane gas supply and keep other containers cool by soaking them in water.
7 - Frostbite
When working with methane gas containers that are under pressure, always wear heavy gloves. This is because methane can cause frostbite on exposed skin, with all the pain. It will turn exposed skin white or pale yellow. The pain will soon decrease, but with care it can be avoided altogether.
When working with methane gas containers, cover all exposed skin, and have safety goggles and breathing equipment. This will give you ample protection in the event of an accident. Work slowly and methodically and keep the methane containers in ventilated areas for safety.