UAE | General

Unauthorised gas cylinders a burning issue

Dubai campaign focuses on risks to domestic consumers

  • By Shveta Pathak, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:01 August 19, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News
  • Risky business: Gas cylinders bought from dubious sources such as watchmen could prove fatal

Dubai: You could be exposing yourself to life-threatening risks if you opt to purchase your gas cylinder from unauthorised sources like the building watchman or grocery, safety experts have warned.

The recent death of an Ethiopian housemaid following a gas cylinder explosion has focused attention on safety precautions to avert such tragedies.

Apart from buying cylinders from authorised suppliers, consumer safety is also subject to the use of the correct pressure regulators, checks by authorised technicians for hose pipe leakages, and simple precautions like turning the gas valve off before leaving the house and not placing the cylinder close to electrical sockets or flammable substances, Dubai Municipality has advised.

The civic body conducted a ‘Safe Cylinder Safe House’ campaign this year along with Emirates Gas and the Directorate General of Civil Defence.

“Consumers should check whether the cylinder distributor is an authorised one and they are not buying cylinders from unauthorised sources including watchmen, groceries, etc. As per Dubai regulations, only cylinders filled by Dubai-based bottling companies are permitted for distribution. The consumer should also take an invoice/bill from the distributor which will serve as reference if any problems arise in the future,” said Hesham Ali Mustafa, senior director of gas marketing at Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) and general manager of Emirates Gas.

Mustafa urged consumers to use only regulators recommended by authorised firms. Emirates Gas offers different types of pressure regulators like 30 mbar, 50mbar, 90 mbar and 0–2 bar adjustable type. Normally only a 30 mbar regulator is recommended for domestic use.

Over 5,000 households were covered during the consumer awareness campaign, with experts highlighting the need for extra care right from the time gas cylinders are purchased.

Even as more people are moving to electric cookers or opting for piped gas supply, almost 85 per cent of households in Dubai still rely on gas cylinders for cooking.

“All the new buildings have central gas supply or use electric gas cookers, which is also safer. The change from gas cylinders to other forms of cooking medium is quite rapid. But still we have 80-85 per cent of people using cylinders. On our part, we make sure that the cylinders are checked properly for their safety and we also have regular meetings with our distributors — we check that the cylinders are within their validity dates and in good condition,” said Khalid Sa’ad Al Fuhaid, manager of marketing and sales for Emirates Gas.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 20:48 August 20, 2012

    I'm a resident of Abu Dhabi, people are depending the Grocery people as there is no option before them. If any body wish to subscribe the central gas system, it is 6 to 8 times expensive than a gas cylinder. Therefore, the authority to ensure the supply of gas cylinder through authorized dealer or the prices of the central gas system to be monitored

    Zacharia Cheripurathu george, Abu Dhbai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:27 August 20, 2012

    This holds true in Abu Dhabi also. Residents in Abu Dhabi are mostly buying from grocery shops or watchmen only. so whats the new procedure in Abu Dhabi? await reply

    balasubramanian, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 09:12 August 20, 2012

    I tried several times to get the "official" gas supplier to check the hoses and connection as I suspected a leak. To my suprise they did not have any kind of leak detector available with them. They were trying to find leaks by smelling. I had to propose them to use soap water and to their suprise it showed several leaks in the connection they just had "professionally" checked. Obviosly I had to borrow tools for them so that the leaks could be fixed as their only tool (adjustable spanner) was the wrong size.

    Pte, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 08:38 August 20, 2012

    Some gas retailers are not qualified as a delivery/installer. I observe that the delivery/installer of the gas cylinders are dangerous. you see they are hammering the regulator with a hard tool and sometimes they bite the handle of cylinder with gas regulator. when i confront why the delivery person was doing like that this guy replied agressively. And my last experience when I ordered the gas last July 23, 2012 for replacement because there a gas leak, the response to me was that they would be back for delivery order only and not for replacement. I was very angry when they answered me like that and called them many times, but they refused to fixed the problem and the last thing I told them was if they don't fix the problem I will complain to municipality, but I was suprised their answer was OKAY, YOU CAN COMPLAIN WHATEVER. I WANT TO COMPLAIN AND HE SAID HE DONT CARE. This is a blatant gas service?

    pepito ante, dubai, Philippines

  5. Added 07:50 August 20, 2012

    It was very sad to read about a maid's death after a gas cylinder blast. In Abu Dhabi, my grocery store person, from whom we used to buy cylinders from tried to check the leakage of the cylinder by lighting a gas lighter around the cylinder. If there was a leakage, the whole cylinder would have blasted and one does not know what would have happened. I stopped buying it from him. Now from June first week, the authorities have banned grocery stores from supplying cylinders, but we have to go and buy it from petrol station. It is a very difficult task to carry it and many people do not know how to handle and fix it. Most of the groceries are still keeping a few cylinders even now and give it to their regular customers.

    N Dhanky, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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