“Counterfeit” is a taboo word in local retail that all industries have been battling for decades. However, unlike counterfeit brands for clothing or bags, fake and knock-off liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks can be a matter of life and death. Any potential of gas leaks from the wrong tank could lead to massive fire incidents, gas explosion, and gas leak poisoning.
Unfortunately, despite these known hazards, there continues to be a thriving market of fake, and copycat LPG tanks. While the government is doing its best to cut this activity with regulations against unlawful trade and illegal refilling of tanks, consumers need to stay vigilant against those dealers who deliberately confuse unsuspecting customers with similar-looking products.
Distinguishing genuine products from copycat and illegal brands can be tricky, but there are key lookouts for customers to ensure their safety and the safety of their family.
Fake tanks pose serious threats
LPG is a volatile, high performance fuel with a low limit for flammability, which means even small leaks from unnoticed holes in dilapidated cylinders could ignite the gas and lead to more serious results.
Non-compliant containers also usually bear fake seals, incorrect labels, and expired cylinder dates. Important markers customers can look for are the mandatory markings such as the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), the required weight of the tank, and the brand of the company. Important markings as these point to the tank being thoroughly inspected and without these, it is a giveaway that the LPG is unauthorized and unsafe.
Another easy sign of illegal LPG tanks is the cylinder – shabby, tarnished, and old-looking. Used, scrapped tanks with broken seals are a sure sign that the store is dealing with illegal products. More than the unsightly appearance of the tanks, these kinds of cylinders pose a bigger concern in exposing buyers to potential gas leakage and explosion.
But what if the cylinders look pristine? Another easy way to verify if your product is genuine is its weight. Many illegal refillers underfill the tank for the simple reason of saving money. A standard Solane LPG cylinder, for example, has 11 kilograms LPG content and an empty cylinder weight should be around 13-15kgs for AS or de salpak and 11.5-14kgs for POL or deroskas. The weight of the empty cylinder is referred to as tare weight (TW) and this varies per cylinder as indicated in the tank’s shoulder. Therefore, the total weight of a filled cylinder should be LPG content + tare weight. Anything under this, even a fraction, is a sign that it is not a genuine product.
What people need to grasp at this point is that their exposure to fake products could potentially compromise not just their safety, but also their families’. Gas leaks are still a leading cause of fire in the country. In fact, during last year’s “Fire Prevention Month”, the latest data from the Association of Safety Practitioners of the Philippines and the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) said that exploding LPGs remains to be one of the top 5 causes of fires across the country.
In Central Visayas alone, BFP 7 records show 130 fires caused by explosions of LPG tanks or gas stoves, contributing to the 1,893 fires that destroyed P257 million worth of properties in 2019.
Verify your tanks
With the rampant illegal activity among fake LPG dealers and the increasing creativity of illegal sellers in tricking customers, the best way to get genuine products is from authorized dealers. As a recognized and trusted LPG brand in the country, Solane remains to be a leading brand for discerning customers who place their family’s safety as top priority. Carried by the leading LPG solutions company, Isla LPG Corp. (ILC), Solane takes every precaution to provide safer homes for Filipino households. On top of its quality products, Solane performs the Timbang Challenge and 7-point safety check free of charge in delivering the LPGs to their consumers, nationwide.
The pervasiveness of the market for illegal and copycat LPG tanks continue to challenge the quest to fight fakes in the country.
Nonetheless, with correct information, reliable brand partners, and extra personal precaution, susceptibility to fatal, kitchen incidents is one less problem away.
As a brand that exemplifies quality, consumers are assured that Solane shares the same vigilance against fakes by disseminating facts and other relevant information through its website www.solane.com.ph. To learn more about the products and services they offer, or even about LPGs as a whole, their website and social media are open for a visit.
To locate a Solane store near you, visit https://tinyurl.com/SolaneStoresNationwideor call (02) 8887-5555 for Metro Manila or send a private message to Solane FB at www.facebook.com/solane.ph.