All gas cylinders in the UAE would be subjected to new set of standards issued by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) beginning next year.
Under the new system, ESMA would monitor and enforce new standards on safety, accuracy of weight as well as age, manufacturing and transportation of gas cylinders, a senior ESMA official said.
Every month, about 1.5 million gas cylinders are being refilled in the UAE. As the number is expected to grow, ESMA aims to ensure that all gas cylinders “from manufacturing and transportation to installation and removal are duly verified.”
The authority is currently in discussion with manufacturers and suppliers in its attempt to implement best practices. The three parties would soon agree on a labeling system which will ensure every gas cylinder must have an ESMA Mark of Conformity.
The authority is also working out in coordination with the UAE Civil Defense and UAE Municipalities plans to introduce an identification/tracking system or color-coding scheme, which will enable them to easily remove doubtful cylinders from the market place.
”If you buy a 20-litre cylinder then it should contain 20 litres. Since you cannot see it, you have to verify the standard and that is what we are doing now. We have to approve the manufacturers of gas cylinders as well as the whole process from filling/refilling the cylinders to selling them to ensure that everything is done properly,” said Eng. Mohammad Saleh Badri, Acting Director General of ESMA.
ESMA will verify the manufacturing of the cylinders and will monitor the personnel involved in the transportation, installation and removal of the gas cylinders. In addition, every five years, all existing cylinders will be verified and will be given a “birth certificate”.
Badri explains: “Each cylinder should have a birth number or an identification number. Once the cylinder goes to the re-fillers, we will have to verify and see that the amount of gas is accurate.”
“Because gas cylinders are hazardous in nature, we will have to verify and approve the transportation systems used by the manufacturers and suppliers. We are in discussions with the UAE Civil Defense and UAE Municipalities, who will help in terms of monitoring. If there is a doubt then the cylinder will be cancelled and will be removed from the system.”
He informed that the system is expected to be finalised by the end of this year or early next year. Once the system is in place, we encourage every consumer to look for the Mark of Conformity. “They should not accept any gas cylinder without this mark.”