Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thank You Allah

I am renegading on my promise to Akmal of Wiseup that I will be posting a post tonight on a certain topic that he as a Kelantanese will find it amusing. The reason for not keeping to the promise is due to what happened and what nearly happened today the 3rd of December 2008. I would like to share this post with you all so that similar near disaster can be avoided by being more vigilant and do the needful and avoid doing the mistake that I made today.
Several previous experiences made me very sensitive to small booming sounds coming from my kitchen. My kitchen hob had been acting up. Many a time small booming sound occurred on the stove that was used to cook something over it. The boom will extinguish the flame of the stove and somebody had to rush to it and turn it off and re lit the stove if the cooking need to be continued.
We were getting scared as the occurrence was getting more often as the days passed. Once we felt we can't tolerate it anymore and we went to Kota Bharu to look for a new hob to replace the one that we had. The supplier that we bought the hob from sold us a new hob after I have given them the size of the hole that was occupied by the old hob on top of the kitchen cabinet. The old hole was 18 inches by 32 inches. The female staff told me the new hob would fit the hole. When I put the new hob onto the cabinet, the whole hob managed to slid through it. It was too small for that hole. So we took the new hob back to the supplier and told her to replace the hob with a bigger one while we continued to use the old one with more caution. The supplier said they have no stock and will order a new one from KL. After a week they told us the factory wasn't producing the size anymore and refunded my money. We know we had to look elsewhere for a new hob that will fit the hole size. Alternatively we could to modify the cabinet so as to be able to fit a smaller hob. I was procrastinating on changing the hob as no such booms occurred lately.

Today after the Subuh prayers, I was shocked to hear a loud boom coming from the direction of my kitchen. It was quite loud but it seemed to come from somewhere farther than my kitchen. Nevertheless I ran to my kitchen to see if anything was amiss there. Nothing seemed to be wrong as my wife had not been using the kitchen yet for the day. Then only I realized the sound may have come from one of the neighbour's house behind mine. I heard some wailing sound from the house behind mine. I rushed for the door to go and see only to be stopped by my wife who wanted me to put on my shirt first as I was clad only in my sarong.
There was already many people at my neighbours house. The other neighbours had heard the sound too and they all rushed over to help. When I reached the house, lots of debris littered even the living room where the neighbour's son was lying in shock. He had a long narrow gash on his shin. The kitchen was in mess with even more debris of the ceiling that caved in. The kitchen cabinet's doors were flung out. Fortunately there was no fire. The explosion must have been caused by gas leakage from his kitchen hob. The gas accumulated in the kitchen cabinets below the hob must have ignited when the wife lighted one of the stoves to boil some water.
One day earlier they have serviced their hob as it was not functioning well. The servicing was done by somebody from Tendong. I didn't ask if the serviceman was a professional or not. I guess he must be as Tendong is some 5 kilometers from our place.
Anyway the damage to my neighbours property was considered mild since only some ceilings and glass panes were blown out. Worse thing could have happened or even lives could be lost if a fire had occurred. The son was taken to hospital for shock and had his wound treated. The mother had scalding on one of her foot and had it treated with minyak gamat. Everything happened while the husband was at work at his school in Tendong.
That incident sparked us into action to replace our own sometimes malfunctioning hob. We left for Kota Bharu at eleven o'clock to buy a new hob. Before leaving I messaged Mat Cendana whom I promised to meet today that I will be late in coming home as I had something urgent to do in Kota Bharu. I specially told him to make some adjustment so that I will be home by the time he reached Pasir Mas. He gave me the OK signal via sms.
The first place that we stopped was in Pasir Pekan. The outlet did not have the size that we needed. The salesperson was helpful and called his other branch in Kota Bharu which confirmed that they have stock of the required size. So off we went to the other branch and we were happy to know they have one of the Electrolux brand. The best offer was RM800 after they have knocked off all the odd numbers after the number eight. Well we were quite happy to know that there was still the right size around and promised to come back later.
At another outlet we found another unit of the size I wanted and it was from China. The net price was RM1300 but we can only get it in a weeks time as they only have the display unit. Anyway it was too pricey compared to the earlier model.
The next stop was at the shop that built our kitchen cabinet. They have a unit from China too but with only 2 stoves and they were selling at RM450. It was a real bargain. All the other models mentioned above had three burners. Anyway we had never used more than 2 burners in all of our life so two burners should suffice. Further more this unit comes with a safety feature built into it, gas will stop should the flame be extinguished by any cause. The salesgirl vouched to it as she said she was using one at home. We took her words for it and bought the unit but we had to wait for 3 PM before the item could be fetched from their store. They couldn't get it any earlier as it was lunch time.
By 2.30 PM we received a call telling us the unit had arrived and we could collect it. Since we were in the midst of buying some shirts for granddaughter Balkis, we couldn't go immediately but collected them later at 3.00 PM. By 4.00 PM we were home and I started the installation of the hob. Since the new hob needed a slightly bigger hole than the one originally available, I had to do some filing to enlarge it. After an application of some silicone sealant around the edges of the hole, the hob was finally slid into place.
Next it was time to fit the gas hose to the gas inlet of the hob. This was a really difficult job as I forgot to buy a new hose to replace the old one which must have lost its elasticity and thus would not slide onto the protruded part where the hose can be clipped to. My failure to put the hose on made me do the cardinal sin of applying a light layer of grease on the inlet pipe that will be attached to the hose. Even with the grease applied, the hose did not go all the way but some three quarters of the way, just long enough for me to place the screw clip on. We lighted the stove using the automatic sparking mechanism powered by a single battery. Everything worked fine. My wife was happy with the new hob and immediately heated up some food for dinner.
Some friends came to the house to discuss about a problem we faced for the coming gathering of our Class of 68 from Sultan Ibrahim Pasir Mas. When they approached the new Principal of the school, they got a shock when they were informed that the hall was under renovation and should the renovation be done, there will be a teachers meeting at the hall on the same day of the gathering, the 27th of December. A call to another well respected friend made the hall became available again as planned. Sometimes it pays to have the right connection to get something done.
It was around 9.00 PM that I decided to start work on the new post that I promised Akmal. Since our 15 moths old granddaughter Balkis was still active at that time, I decided to do my work at the dining table near the kitchen. It was then that I sensed the smell of cooking gas. It was very faint initially but got stronger as I focused more on trying to smell it. I called out to the other half to confirm and when she did, I know for sure I had a gas leakage in my kitchen. The first thing I did was to remove the cap on top of the cylinder. Having done that, I then open the cabinet that was fitted with the hob and I can smell the strong smell of methane gas. The hose was dangling freely with the open end away from the connecting tube. The small clipped had lost its grip after the thread of the screw had worn out. I immediately opened up all the windows to let whatever remaining gas out and let in fresh air to dilute the gas concentration.
Oh God, if only one of us had lighted a match or switched on the sparking mechanism to light the stove, disaster would have struck upon us. God knows what might have happened.
Thank you Allah. You have been merciful and saved us this time.
I must apologize to Mat Cendana as I had forgotten all about him and the promise to meet him earlier. Mat, see you tomorrow.

32 comments:

Mat Cendana said...

Oh, no problem with me, honestly!
I too was extremely busy yesterday, and it was only after Asar that I managed to go out of the house. I had another matter to attend to - besides the weekly Pasar Malam in town yesterday.

But for some reason, public transportation to town was extremely scarce yesterday evening - usually, something would turn up after 10-15 minutes at the most. But yesterday, I had to wait 70 minutes, arriving in town VERY late.

I was there for less than 30 minutes before going back by the last bus to Tok Uban at 6.30PM - I sure wasn't going to be extravagant by looking around the Pasar Malam leisurely, and then take a RM10 taxi when I could get home with RM1.20:-)

Anyway, I might be in town again later today - after noon probably. But even if I can't make it today, there's no hurry - certainly no need for you to come over.

For today, it's better that you handle the matter about the hose first and foremost - it's literally a matter of life and death.

Yes, it's fortunate that you managed to smell the gas (non-smokers have better smelling senses), and nothing untowards happened. But there might not be such good luck the next time, so get that one fixed first before even thinking about me.

mekyam said...

thank God your sense of smell is obviously excellent! it certainly averted a disaster.

at the risk of sounding inapproriately crass, pak zawi -- but i really don't know how else to put it -- i "enjoyed" this entry very much.

you account of events makes it a most suspenseful story.

Zawi said...

Mat Cendana,
That afternoon my friend came to see me to inform me that my handphone number seemed to be diverted to a number in KL belonging to a Chinese guy. Later in the evening my son in law called the house to tell me the same thing. I was so preoccupied at the time that I didn't see my phone was switched off. Upon activating it I saw your four messages. If I were to have seen it, I could have easily send you home.
We have to meet today as quite early tomorrow morning my family will be leaving for KL on the way to Labuan. Only by the 15th that I can be back so I want to settle this 'trust' that I am holding for you. The sooner I get it done the better for all.
You are right, my strong sensitivity to smell allowed me to detect the gas but above all the biggest luck was that the gas tank contained a small volume of gas as it had been used since about 3 months ago. This morning I found the tank to be empty. What if the tank was a full tank? We could have died of gas poisoning.

Zawi said...

Mekyam,
It was already 10 PM when I started working on the blog. I just wrote about it the way the event happened as my normal bedtime is 10.30 PM and by 11.00 PM I would be in dreamland. I was sceptical that the post may turn out to be of any good at all as I did it in a single 'take' as the other half did't allow me to proceed into the wee hours as my blood pressure tend to rise the longer I stay awake at night.
Sure do feel glad if you find this serious matter to be an enjoyable suspensefull recount.

GUiKP said...

A few years ago shortly after we got back after completing my studies in the UK, we had that kind of disaster. The previous night, my wife did not turn off the gas cooker completely. The next morning, still groggy and all, she turned on the cooker to boil water. Don't ask me why we didn't use electric kettle. Suddenly I heard a loud bang and someone screaming. I saw my wife crying "Aduh sakitnya. Dapur meletup. Abe, jom pergi KMC cepat". To cut the long story short, she was hospitalised in KMC for a few days. When I took her to KMC, her hair was like Michael Jackson pre-rebonding, but her face was unscathed. We were grateful to Allah that she wore satin pyjamas that night. Otherwise injury to the body could be much worse.

Can we pay you a visit during this Raya Break? Hopefully tak banjir.

Zawi said...

GUiKP,
Wow, that was an even worse experience. I can consider myself to be very lucky especially with my 15 months old grand daughter staying with me.
I will not be around for the coming Raya as I will be somewhere in Labuan and Sabah with my daughter's family. She wants her bundle of joy (Balkis) back with her. My house is open to all friends all the time. Just SMS me to check if I am home and if I am, you are most welcome to come over for a 'bungkus of nasi belauk' and some 'etak'.

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi said...

alhamdulillah,

nothing untoward happened to you and family. yes, we cant be not careful about this gas/lpg thing. its a good thing, the manufacturer put something in order for the gas to emit smell- otherwise LPG pak zawi is colourless and odourless. imagine if the gas stove is leaking and we cant smell to detect.
praise be to Allah.

uncleawang said...

ALHAMDULILAH,Kerana tiada apa-apa perkara yang burok berlaku.
Itu lah kadang-kadang kita ni macam orang tersasul pulak..macam saya hari-hari tak jemu selalu memperingat kan orang rumah"Ber hati-hati kalau dah habis pakai dapur jangan lupa knob gas tu cabutkan"apa lagi kalau keluar rumah.

Queen Of The House said...

Alhamdulillah nothing happened to your family. It pays to be careful and to be alert. We've had near mishaps too, and sometimes I wonder if it'll be better to use an electric hob. But the cost, of course, would be horrendous.

Speaking of gas cylinders and things related .... are you ever bothered by salespeople who come to your door, konon-konon nak buat surveylah, or nak conduct safety check lah, then proceed to hardsell those kepala gas thing or 'special' safety hoses? Those people really piss me off - if only they tell the truth, that they want to sell you those things rather than trying to hoodwink people. Bukannya murah, and they can be really persistant, and even threatening!

Akmal said...

Alhamdulillah, nothing untoward happened. But seriously, you got to work that problem out real fast. A new hose, perhaps?
There are 2 places people got serious domestic injuries more frequently; lavatory and kitchen. Nasib baik, no life threatening injury involved in your neighbor case...and good also for you for having a well-trained senses.

Gurindam Jiwa said...

Alhamdulillah, lucky you...

Zawi said...

Datok Sak,
Alhamdulillah.
I never knew that the smell was inserted into the LPG. All the while I had been thinking it was the smell of the gas. I think everyone must be educated to detect the smell so that we can be alerted that something is amiss if the smell persisted.
Praise Be Upon Allah.

Zawi said...

Awang,
My wife is very meticulous about most safety aspect of things but due to ignorance on the danger of the LPG leaks, she is quite lax on this aspect. I think she has learnt alot from this incident at the neighbours place as well as at our own. From now onward it will be knob at off at the regulator.

Zawi said...

QOTH,
I once used the safety valve on top of the gas cylinder bottle. Since we were approached by a friend, we bought it without being pressured. It was then sold at RM157 but now thw price is more than RM200. I think the gadget is effective and safety wise it is value for money. Unfortunately the gadget broke off when it fell on the concrete floor.
It is the way they disguise the sale that make us pissed off. I know it is not wasy to make a sale on such an expensive item. I believe they should be more ethical in making the sale.
With the recent experience I don't mind investing in the product again. Now I dont know where to find the product.

Zawi said...

Akmal,
Alhamdulillah. Will post the promised item next and I will sure to mention that chat that we had.
I just bought a new hose and replaced the old one. Should be OK now.

Zawi said...

Mazle,
Alhamdulillah. Allah must be protecting the baby with us and ourselves too.

Kak Teh said...

Alhamdulillah. Tuhan melindungi Zawi dan keluarga.

Zawi said...

Kak Teh,
Pengalaman yang amat mengerikan. Tuhan melindungi kami Kak Teh.

svllee said...

That was a close call, Pak Zawi! Now you know why they put the smell into natural gas..!

My week was not as near to excitement as yours..I had to replace a 10 year old cooker hood which died, only having discovered that the *@%^&*! fitters 10 years ago never even connected the exhaust to the vent pipes,..all this while.. so I had to scrape of hapf-inch of accumulated grease off the back wall!! Now that is not a pleasant job by any means..

Now I just finished fitting a brand spanking new cooker hood, bought online for half the price at the stores.

Missus will be able to fry her chicken again.

zaitgha said...

Thank you Allah indeed Pak...glad to hear the ending part tuh...

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pak Zawi
Syukur alhamdulillah no one got hurt.
My mother makes sure that I turned off the gas knob when I leave the house for a period of time.

Aida said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

All implements connecting the cylindrical gas tank to the stove MUST be checked every year and chenaged every 3 years, even if there is no damage or leaks.

Alhamdulillah nothing untoward happened.

My brother (who is married to a local PM girl) will be back in PM this Eid. I've asked him to take photos for place where the old house used to stand and retrieve some photos of the old house from my grandmother's current house. I apologise that I had promised scanned photos of the old house when I had none in KL.

Safe travels to Sabah.

Mat Cendana said...

@Queen Of The House
YES, I had come across one some years ago. Since this kind pisses you off, take comfort that one of them had received some sharp and nasty words from me. But I'm not proud of that now

Yes, I was a very nasty character once ("once" - hoping that I'm no longer so nowadays. Or at least "less nasty"). The guy had come to my house with that same stunt - of "wanting to inspect".

Now I was in a bad mood that day - plus the arrogantand rude kind too - and I certainly did not take kindly a sales stunt that I could predict what the "inspection" would end up with (some `danger' that his equipment would take care of).

He probably had never encountered someone like me, for I answered with a question, "Why should I let YOU inspect?" He was taken by surprise and immediately lost the smugness and self-assurance - his reply provided yet more ammo for me.

Well, it was fun and games for me, one answer from him leading to another question or sharp comment from me; of taking out my frustration on the guy.

My wife was uneasy, for she knew what I was up to - and my `proven ability' to win arguments and debates 95% of the time... she was desperately trying to find a way to let the guy "save face".

To cut a long story short, I humiliated him - and felt "justified" because of the stunt that he was trying to pull off. But I regretted that - for YEARS I regretted it and was ashamed of myself for slashing him like that. And especially when I was in Gambang.

Well, nowadays I TRY to quickly think first and avoid possible situations - "winning" is no longer important as it once was... Having peace of mind is a lot more important. And you won't get that by being an ARROGANT JERK like I once was.

Zawi said...

Svellee,
Yes now I know why the smell is there.
Sad to hear that there are cheats who go around fixing household equipments like that. I can imagine your house is dirtied up by the oil vapours once the whole cooker hood was clooged up.
The cooker hood is actually quite easy to fix and DIY enthusiasts wont have much difficulty putting it up.

Zawi said...

Zai,
I am now in Enstek Labu. How I wish I could spare some time to visit u in Seremban. InsyaAllah maybe we will find time when we come back from Labuan. My daughter Yani often bring her family to visit the lake where lots of fish are stocked near to Seremban Town.
Please take note of my experience
and do all the necessary checks.

Zawi said...

Fauziah,
I think your mum is teaching you the best practise for you to emulate. Please do like wise. It is even necessary to turn off at night when you have finished for the day.

Zawi said...

Aida,
OK I will change them every 3 years then. I need to change to a new regulator after all they are not that expensive.
It will be great to have old pictures of the house. If we cant preserve the house, at least we preserve it's pictures.

Zawi said...

Mat Cendana,
I would love to see you blog about such experiences. I think there is a message to be leaqrnt from such an incident.
1. Salespersons must not resort to such ruse.
2. Prospective customers must treat them as people and find a way to get them out of our way with more tact and finese.
Sometimes they have good products that are useful to us .

Puteri said...

Thank goodness no serious incident happened! Hopefully everyone in your neighbourhood does something to correct the problem with their gas attachment, if they have a similar problem with their hob, before anything untoward happens!

Zawi said...

Puteri,
You are right. The neighbours must learn something from the mishap though no serious injury happened. Who knows what might happen the next time around. Merry Christmas to you and Douglas.

Mat Cendana said...

I had sent a SMS to Bang Zawi at 6.28PM just now. On reading about Enstek Labu, I was wondering how Celcom would fare in getting a SMS from Kangkong, Pasir Mas to some place in Sabah at 1 sen (Bang Zawi is in my 8Pax).

Well, it did reach him! But he's in Labuan right now. But still it's something; if you stop to think about it... of something finding its way from here to Sabah - even if the other person moves around.

We take this for granted nowadays. But I'm sure the older ones here will remember what it was once like; when only the well-to-do could afford a fixedline phone. It's a wonderful thing, modern communications.

Zawi said...

Mat Cendana,
Initially I was perplexed to receive your sms. Only after seeing this comment that I became clear of the reason. 1 sen per sms even to only 8 numbers is definitely something to shout about. I guess you must choose someone who does alot of sms with to benefit most from this facility.