I just had a horrible experience that made me realise I have been stupid and irresposible with my gas cylinder. Wherever you live you may not have the same safety regulations as you may be used to at home, so take my advice and check out your gas system.
Here in Ecuador everyone uses cylinders, butane with a standard regulator very similar to the ones you get in the UK. I`ve used them many times before, but here there is a crucial difference - the quality of what you buy is poor. I have bought 3 regulators now and I think this last one is safe. The previous one was definitely not, and I had some cheap plastic hose such as is illegal for gas in my country. Also, I didn`t have a fire extinguisher.
On MOnday the whole thing just went up in my face when I was cooking. The gas started leaking from under the regulator so it was totally out of control like a huge blow torch, I tried to cover it with a soaking wet towel but this was pathetic so I had to holler for the landlady and thank heavens she had an extinguisher that put it out.
Unfortunately by this time I was burned on my face, throat and arms. Its not too bad, I was really lucky not to have scars, or much worse for that matter. I was taken to hospital but they let me go after a few hours. Now I have some nasty marks all over my face and throat and my forearms are still red and painful. My lips are swollen and I have no eyelashes or brows. I look awful and hate gong out. I`m not working either. It could have been so much worse!
I was stupid in several ways, and would like to pass on some advice that should have been obvious but it wasn`t to me and maybe other people should think about this too-
If you have a dodgy cylinder or regulator, I now know that you can call out the fire brigade and they will check everything for you.
Do not keep your cylinder near to where you cook, and also keep it away from other inflammable objects.
Do NOT think "I`ll be ok" - it CAN happen to you. It happened to me and I`ve had plenty of experience with gas cylinders.
Use a good, strong hose with some good hose clips. Just because they sell plastic hose doesn`t mean it`s OK to use it.
Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen even if you have to buy it yourself, it is not always the landlords responsibility to do this and its better to have one than not to.
Have a plan of action in case of fire and remember how to shout "fire help" in the relevant language! It took me a minute to shout "Fuego! Ayudame!" because I was in a panic. If you have a plan you are less likely to panic and do stupid pointless things.