Major LPG player supports BFP call

March 23, 2012 9:28 am 

MANILA, March 22 — As the month of March is Fire Prevention month, the major liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) player Total Philippines Corporation on Thursday hosted forum on LPG Safety in support of the Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP) call to be alert, vigilant and cooperative.

Malou Espina, manager for corporate communications of Total Philippines said that there are many issues in the LPG industry, but one of the most important is about consumer safety.

“Through the forum, we are educating consumers on what to look for when they purchase LPG cylinders, particularly checking the cylinder conditions and markings,” Espina said during the forum on LPG safety that was organized by the company Thursday at the Best Western F1 Premier Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

The LPG related fires occur between 2001 and 2010, some 1,782 fires attributable to LPG have been recorded by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

LPG-caused fires reached its peak in 2004 with 264 incidents. Subsequent years, however, posted considerably less figures (2005 – 119 fire incidents, 2006 – 84, 2007 – 113, 2008 – 176, 2009 – 176 and 2010 – 126).

“The percentage (of LPG-caused fires) may be small, but it tends to leave a lot of fatalities,” LPG Industry Association (LPGIA) Executive Director Mercedita Pastrana said.

Among the contributing factors to LPG-related blazes are the unsafe and unfair practices in the industry, namely 1.) the illegal manufacturing of cylinders (most notably, the popular 2.7-kilo “Super Kalan”), 2.) use of scrap or dilapidated cylinders, 3.) under-filling of cylinders, 4.) illegal refilling and 5.) cylinder capturing and tampering (usually done to “steal” and rename cooking gas tanks owned by a company).

Eugene de la Paz, LPG cylinders manager of Total, likened tampered cylinders to "time bombs" that must be avoided at all cost, even if the cost–rather, the price–makes it tantalizing.

"Let's not risk the lives of our children at home just for the P100 savings that we get from these cylinders," he added.

Pastrana, who conducts a lecture during the two-hour forum advises a safety tips on the LPG cylinders.

Pastrana said consumers should make it a point to check if the tank they bought has the correct amount of LPG. Buyers should also always ask for a receipt so that a faulty cylinder can be replaced.

“Be sure that the cylinder is in good condition. Check for excessive rustiness and dents at the bottom part. Usually, cylinders that have been captured by retailers only undergo cosmetic changes on the body, and the bottom part is left untouched,” explained Pastrana.

"As much as possible, only buy LPG cylinders that are branded, with the proper markings such as ownership, serial number and Philippine Standards mark," Pastrana said.

She added that consumers make sure to have their tank installed and repaired by a trained and qualified LPG serviceman.”

Apparently, the color of the flame coming out of your burner can also tell whether you’ve bought a good tank or a bad one. “A blue flame means the cylinder is working efficiently. On the other hand, a yellow flame means that too much gas is being consumed,” she explained.

Pastrana also said that a cooking gas cylinder also needs proper ventilation and must be placed in an open area, never within an enclosed space. (PNA)

RSV/CLTC

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