All gas cylinders in Dubai to have improved safety valves

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All gas cylinders in Dubai to have improved safety valves By Alia Al Theeb, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: April 08, 2008, 23:39

Dubai: All domestic gas users will have new cylinder valves with improved safety features, a senior official announced on Tuesday.

The changeover will be executed with immediate effect in Dubai by Emirates Gas in partnership with Emarat. The valves and regulators are available from all authorised LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinder distributors for a one-off payment of Dh40.

The move comes following a decision by the undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior in conjunction with Dubai Civil Defence. Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence and head of the committee that put in place a structure to enforce the decision, stressed the importance of all bottling and distribution companies’ commitment to the clauses under the Ministry’s decision.

Colonel Ahmad Al Sayegh, Deputy Director of Dubai Civil Defence, said faulty gas cylinder valves were time bombs and there had been many fires at houses, labour accommodation and Portakabins and this had led to a study on the reasons behind the fires.

“Experts said gas leaks or errors in the valves were the main reasons behind those fires,” he said.

The civil defence will implement the mechanism to ensure the use of the new attachments and initiate an awareness programme for residents. It will also perform checks on restaurants and other public places to ensure the new regulators and valves are being used.

Ali Mustafa, General Manager, Emirates Gas, said considering Dubai alone has 300,000 to 400,00 domestic gas cylinders in use, the environmental and safety advantages of the new valves will be tremendous.

Several advanced safety features

Dubai: The new valve has several advanced safety features and is being introduced after extensive research and trials.

It has a short one-piece body with high impact strength. It also has a protective gasket preventing the entry of dust and water and a self-closing valve preventing accidental leaks.

The regulator is equipped with an automatic cut-off mechanism to stop the flow of gas in case of a leak or cut in the rubber hose. The cylinder valve will close in case of a fire. The current cylinders when empty will be exchanged for a cylinder with a new valve by the distributor. Cylinders with this new valve can be operated only by a regulator supplied by Emirates Gas or Emarat. It is estimated that about 1,000 cylinders with new valves will be changed per day.

– Staff Report

Timeline: Blast history

March 29, 2008: Gas cylinder blast injures three workers in Ras Al Khaimah.
February 20, 2008: Seven hurt in villa gas cylinder explosion in Deira, Dubai.
May 19, 2005: Ten hurt and 22 shops and 70 vehicles damaged after a gas pipe leak caused a massive explosion in a restaurant on Al Wahda Street, Sharjah.
February 28, 2005: Massive gas cylinder blast wrecks Sharjah cafeteria.
December 19, 2004: Three injured in cylinder blast in the Al Wathba district, Abu Dhabi.
December 7, 2003: Gas cylinder blast destroys restaurant and shop in Ras Al Khaimah.
September 30, 2001: Gas cylinder explodes in apartment in Al Rifaa, Dubai.