The increase in the prices of all sizes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders came into effect in Dubai from December 14 and in Sharjah from December 5. Prices in Abu Dhabi remain unchanged and are the lowest in the country. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The updated UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice will ban cooking gas cylinders in all new buildings, a senior official told Gulf News on Wednesday.

New buildings will not be issued permits if they allow occupants to use LPG cylinders, in an attempt to reduce fire accidents caused by gas leakage and cylinder explosions, said Lt Col Jamal Ahmad Ebrahim, director of Preventive Safety Department at the General Directorate of Dubai Civil Defence.

“Buildings have to offer centralised gas pipe network if they allow occupants to use cooking gas. Or else they should use electric cookers,” he said on the sidelines of the 4th International Conference on Quality Assurance for Sustainable Construction Materials.

Lt Col Ebrahim, who headed the team that drafted the updated version of the Fire Safety Code, said the Civil Defence authorities had already begun implementation of this rule. “If you check the latest buildings in Dubai, you won’t see them using gas cylinders.”

However, stricter and wider enforcement of the rule is expected across the country when the code will be officially implemented.

Dubai Properties banned LPG cylinders in Al Khail Gate following a blast caused by gas leakage in an apartment which resulted in a woman’s death.

Courtesy: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

According to Lt Col Ebrahim, the code will come into force by the end of this month itself. Earlier reports had said the implementation of the code had been pushed back to the first quarter of 2017.

“The code has been translated into Arabic and is ready. It is just a matter of getting it released. We are expecting the Ministry [of Interior] to issue the code any time soon in its electronic version also to show the 3D images.”

Hard and soft copy of the code is expected to be made available to the industry.

Pramod Challa, a senior engineer with Dubai Civil Defence, who handled the technical aspects of the code, said the authorities are considering new proposals for alternative solutions to cooking gas cylinders in existing buildings.

“It is difficult to change the system in the old buildings. There are new proposals that the Civil Defence is considering,” he said.

One such proposal from developer Dubai Properties for its Al Khail Gate community in Dubai is to use composite LPG cylinders that are comparatively much safer than the traditional metal cylinders.

This new generation of lightweight cylinders is made of helically woven fibres, combined with resin, providing unique characteristics. They are said to be explosion-proof as they can withstand a burst pressure that is twice as high as that of metal cylinders.

Dubai Properties had announced a ban on the use of LPG cylinders in Al Khail Gate following a blast that was caused by gas leakage in an apartment which resulted in the death of an elderly woman. Her daughter was critically burnt and their apartment was destroyed after the flash fire and the explosion on August 24.