DO YOU know that liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders also have a physical life or expiry?

Some consumers may have not known it, but LPG cylinders can only be used within the specified date. It must be discarded after expiry.

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Engr. Elvira Cajigas, chief of the Consumer Welfare Services Division of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Northern Mindanao, said every five years, all LPG cylinders must undergo requalification with the DTI.

"If our assessment officers find that the cylinders are still okay for use, then they will be out in the market. But if they found those cylinders non-usable, we will break them into halves so that they would never be reused," Cajigas said.

She said there are sensitive requalification activities that the team do technically.

"However, to simplify it, a consumer must only bear in mind that in buying LPG contents and containers, they should try to weigh the containers before paying if it really shows the actual weight of the cylinder," Cajigas said.

Recently, information has been circulated over the Internet giving warnings to consumers not to use expired LPG cylinders as these "are not safe anymore and may cause accidents."

The information called on the public to be cautious when "accepting any LPG cylinder from a vendor."

The information also explains how to properly check the expiry of LPG cylinders.

It said that on one of the three side stems of the cylinder, the expiry date is coded alpha numerically as A, B, C or D with some two digit numbers.

It said the alphabets stand for quarters - A for January to March (first quarter), B for April to June (second quarter), C for July to September (third quarter) and D for October to December (fourth quarter) while the digits stand for the year that the cylinder is valid. If the cylinder shows "D06," it means the cylinder can only be used until December of 2006. (Loui S. Maliza)