The Cambodian Mine Action Centre yesterday urged the relevant authorities to further regulate the sale and storage of household gas supplies to reduce the risk of gas cylinder explosions.
Heng Ratana, CMAC director-general, said that the supply of substandard or improperly contained gas to households can result in explosions and fire which affects lives and property.
He said that although experts have been pushing for greater control over the issue, the unregulated sales of gas in flat and some downtown areas is still going on.
“In order to avoid serious accidents, it is necessary to take strict measures to further manage the sales permit, transportation and storage of gas according to safety standards,” he noted. “A gas explosion is as dangerous as a bomb and the risks are the same.”
“Our police officers, the department of firearms and explosion management, and fire department, have worked hard on this issue, but people should realize the risks of storing and supplying gas in an unsafe manner,” he added.
The CMAC call was made after a blaze at a gas warehouse in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district on Saturday. The fire spread and damaged many adjacent properties.
Prom Yorn, Municipal Fire Department director, yesterday said that explosions usually happen when unregistered sellers do not know how to store or manage gas supplies including transferring it into cylinders.
He said some of them are also not careful and store the cylinders in dangerous areas such as near welding work, electronic equipment, candles and incense sticks.
“Vendors who sell small amounts of gas in cans at stalls or at home are also in danger because the metal of the cans are thin and the gas can explode when the weather is hot,” Mr Yorn noted. “I want to remind people who sell gas near electricity generators to also be careful.”
He urged people who sell gas not to use metal containers which are too thin, to keep fire extinguishers nearby and to learn how to fill and transfer gas.
Mr Yorn also advised owners of vehicles that use LPG not to fill their tanks to the brim because this compresses the gas and can lead to an explosion.