Phnom Penh municipal fire police conducted checks on the safety standards of businesses selling gas in Daun Penh district yesterday, following an appeal by Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng for more action against illegal gas traders.
Sreng ordered the relevant departments to work with authorities in all 14 districts on August 6, to track down illegal gas vendors, check if legitimate sellers comply with safety standards and ensure the businesses pose no harm to the public or the environment.
Colonel Prom Yorn, chief of the Municipal Fire Police Department, said yesterday officers have started inspecting and educating gas-shop owners about safety standards.
“Following several previous incidents of fire due to gas cylinder explosions, we are instructing vendors to follow safety standards and to make sure they have the legal documents for their business,” he said.
Yorn added that the fire police will visit businesses in all 14 of Phnom Penh’s districts to ensure they do not pose a risk of fire.
“We are also telling shop owners to provide training for their workforce on how to safely store gas, as they are the main people who will be in contact with the cylinders,” he said.
Sreng had said many shops in Phnom Penh sell gas supplies despite not having the authorisation to operate. The majority of these shops, he said, store and supply the products without complying with the set safety standards, thus posing a potential risk of fire and explosion.
These instructions follow the fatal explosion in a shop selling gas in Daun Penh district in June, which killed four people and caused extensive damage to adjacent properties.
Meas Sreytha, a Phnom Penh resident, said yesterday she lives near a gas vendor and she doubts whether the business is operating legally with the correct safety measures in place.
She added that she always worries about living so close, ever since the gas explosion in Daun Penh district.
“We don’t know if these shops selling gas have safety standards in place, and the neighbours are worried that an explosion could happen at any time,” Sreytha said.
She appealed to the authorities to check the shop’s safety standards to ensure that the people who live nearby are safe.
According to the National Police, there were nearly 500 incidents of fire in Cambodia during the first half of the year, with 39 casualties, including 11 fatalities, and 514 houses and 225 public structures sustaining extensive damage.