Dubai: Users of cooking gas cylinders must exercise extra caution not only while using them, but right from the time they are purchased.
Proper storage, authorised accessories and sufficient preparation for emergencies are equally critical in order to avoid accidents.
The message comes from Dubai Municipality which, along with the Directorate General of Civil Defence and Emirates Gas, has launched a ‘Safe Cylinder Safe House' to generate awareness of safe usage of gas cylinders.
"It is a joint campaign and is a part of our preventive measures so as to ensure the safety of users of gas cylinders.
"The campaign will continue till March 2012 and we will also make joint visits to 5,000 homes to deliver the message of awareness.
"Our focus is all categories of consumers," said Reda Salman, Director of Public Health and Safety at Dubai Municipality.
Inspectors from Dubai Municipality and Emirates Gas will check the safety of gas cylinders being used in households and also tell residents about the safety precautions they must take, Salman said.
Even as more users are moving to electric gas cookers and 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 should be within their validity dates and in good condition," said Khalid Sa'ad Al Fuhaid, manager of marketing and sales for Emirates Gas.
Talking about fire safety precautions, Jamal Ahmad Ebrahim of the Directorate of Civil Defence said over 70 per cent of buildings including warehouses and factories are connected to the department's intelligence system which checks that they are following the regulations.
He said the directorate has revoked 150 licences and fined over 2,000 users who failed to adhere to the safety guidelines.
- Always purchase gas cylinders and accessories from only authorised gas distributors.
- For cylinder replacement or maintenance, check if the contracting company is authorised by the Civil Defence.
- Check the cylinder validity date.
- Ensure proper ventilation in the kitchen and do not expose the cylinder directly to the sun and heat sources. When kept outside, the cylinders should be placed in a cabinet that has wire mesh provided at the bottom in order to allow liquefied petroleum gas to escape in case of leakage.
- Keep fire extinguisher and fire blanket handy in your house for emergencies and also be trained to use them.
- Install smoke and gas detectors in your home.
- Do not use lighter or match to check gas leak, use soap solution instead.
- Do not place the cylinder close to electrical sockets or flammable substances.
- Never leave stoves unattended while in use.
- Do not allow children to operate gas appliances.
- Ensure the gas valve/regulator is closed before leaving the house.
- Do not connect more than one cylinder to one cooking appliance.
- Inpsect stove and gas connections regularly and replace in case of damage.
- In case of gas leakage, dial 997/999.
- For any gas-related assistance, contact Emirates Gas at 800EMGAS (36427) or Dubai Municipality at 800900.