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.