Gas Cylinder Fires Trouble London Fire Brigade

The London Fire Brigade is conducting a citywide campaign to rid London of unwanted gas cylinders after a spate of fires related to cylinders. The latest was an April 2 butane cylinder-fueled fire that destroyed a garden shed, according to the brigade’s list of recent incidents. The department, part of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, is the third-largest fire department in the world, and it is conducting the campaign this month because this is “spring cleaning” seasons for Londoners.

"Fires involving gas cylinders can cause a massive amount of disruption, not to mention how dangerous they can be when exposed to heat," said Steve Turek, assistant commissioner for community safety. "If everyone ensures gas cylinders are used, stored, and disposed of safely and in an appropriate manner, the majority of these incidents would be avoided. People should not discard their unwanted cylinders, but dispose of them safely by returning them to their suppliers -- or for further information, contacting the British Compressed Gas Association."

The brigade offers a free home fire safety visit and a free smoke alarm, if needed, to every London resident.

The brigade is reminding residents to make sure smoke alarms are clean and working properly. "Firstly, it's important that you have a smoke alarm to dust in the first place. Every home should have one, they only cost [$9], and they could save your life," Turek said. "Cleaning your alarm is important, but checking that the battery is working is essential. Alarms prove time and again that they save lives, but a smoke alarm with the batteries removed or run down is not going to protect you."

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