PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): About 2,000 self-service laundrettes in peninsular Malaysia and Sabah do not have approvals as well as individual gas licences issued by the Energy Commission, and are therefore at risk of explosions.
The commission's deputy director (gas equipment and installation) Shamsuddin Arshad told Bernama that records indicate that so far, only 427 self-service laundrettes have the approval to install (ATI) and operate (ATO), as well as the gas licences, and are also registered with the commission.
The Gas Supply Act 1993 and Gas Supply Regulations 1997 require premises using gas supply, particularly liquid petroleum, to secure the approvals and licences from the commission before commencing operations to ensure that their gas piping systems are installed in accordance with standards set by the commission - offenders can be fined a maximum of RM100,000 or jailed or both.
Sarawak does not come under the purview of the commission.
Shamsuddin urged laundrette operators to heed the lessons learnt from two incidents last year involving explosions at self-service outlets, in which a female customer was killed on April 11 in Taman Jinjang Baru, Kuala Lumpur, while at another outlet on Oct 4, a man died and his two children sustained burns to their bodies.
Both explosions, Shamsuddin said, were caused by leaks in the gas supply because the piping systems at the outlets did not meet the standards set by the commission.
He clarified that unlike conventional laundrettes that rely on electricity to power their drying processes, self-service outlets use gas as a cost-saving measure.
These outlets have mushroomed in the past three to four years, with the commission initially unaware that they were actually using gas until the explosions occurred, Shamsuddin explained.
In the interest of public safety and for the benefit of self-service outlets and local enforcement authorities, the commission is in the process of publishing guidelines on the installation of piped gas supply but in the near future, it will make it mandatory for all outlets to display their approvals and licences, and it will also be conducting raids, he said. - Bernama