(MENAFN - Arab News) The current gas distribution outlets in city neighborhoods are not hazardous, as long as they comply with the required safety measures, said Deputy Civil Defense Director-General, Brig. Abdulah Al-Jeddawi.
He said the outlets would not have to be closed or relocated to areas outside the city limits.
Nonetheless, he warned against the dangers of
Civil Defense did however consider the gas plant in Kilo 14 district a danger, due to the absence of the necessary requirements. For example, the plant lacks a "safety belt" of 800 meters surrounding the plant in all directions for the protection of its residents.
"The role of Civil Defense restricted to implementing safety measures only, but the municipality and the Mayor's Office designates a location to a facility, in line with their expansion plans," said Al-Jeddawi
Lt. Said Farhan, Civil Defense spokesman, explained that a dedicated committee recommended relocating the gas plant in Kilo 14 to a site outside city limits for safety. "The plant is in the process of relocating," he said.
A plant of that size needs years of studies to ensure the safety of any new location, as well as ways to comply with safety standards. These include protection against the changeable wind directions and ensuring the safety belt. "Outlets of gas distribution should remain within neighborhoods for the sake of presenting the best service," Farhan said.
The spokesman said that no accidents had been recorded during the last ten years associated with their existence within neighborhoods.
Jeddah Civil Defense has set requirements that should ensure the safety of citizens. Daily patrols in the neighborhoods monitor and follow up any violations.
Al-Jeddawi said that when plants do not comply with safety requirements and do not respond to talks with Civil Defense, warning notices and fines, penalties might include closure of the facility and banning supplies of gas.
"The Ministry of Defense has no requirements for the qualifications of employees. The outlets do have specific standards that involve construction specifications, venting requirements, the necessary equipment and their location being further away from other service facilities such as schools, mosques, shopping centers, parks and other utilities," said Al-Jeddawi.
Most violations of gas outlets involve the distribution of gas cylinders on bicycles.
Adnan Al-Hashemi, head of the Safety and Security committee at the Jeddah Chamber, said that all parties concerned, such as the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Protection, the Mayor's Office, the municipality, the Civil Defense, and Industrial Security should participate in the selection of a suitable location of any gas plant. "Gas outlets within neighborhoods lack safety measures and the necessary requirements concerning labor, handling crises and construction specifications," said Al-Hashemi.