Following three incidents potentially involving gas cylinder during the last few days, both the MCCAA and REWS have immediately started their respective investigations.
Clearly, the respective independent authorities will also follow up on the outcome of a magisterial inquiry which is being carried out in one of the cases.
Based on information available so far, the three incidents do not seem to be related.
Notwithstanding this, both authorities are focusing their attention on the gas supply equipment and systems, namely regulators and gas cylinders.
In this regard, a number of checks are being carried out as follows:
checks on regulators and valves starting from documentary checks that indicate that the product in question has undertaken all the necessary compliance checks in line with EU legislation. These checks are to be backed up with physical product testing which will be carried out in an accredited laboratory. These test results are usually available in approximately 15 days, subject to the labs’ availability.
checks on cylinders need to be in respect to structural integrity and leaks. New cylinders are certified at point of placing on the market as being in conformity with the relevant standards. Subsequently, cylinders are recertified with the new valves in place every 10 years. Documentary checks in relation to the recertification process are carried out on an ongoing basis. Products that do not pass the tests for recertification are destroyed by the supplier. Additional checks will be carried out with immediate effect both on the quality controls being carried out in the filling plants and on the safety of the cylinders being placed on the market.
The authorities need to emphasise that individuals and companies placing appliances, gas cylinders and regulators on the market, are responsible to ensure that the products conform to all the safety specifications according to legislation.