06 December 2007
The SABS has just published a world class safety standard for Pressurized paraffin-fuelled appliances known as SANS 1243:2007. The standard is a voluntary safety standard for all paraffin stoves and heaters that use a pressure based system of operation. Primus stoves traditionally cover about 10% of the paraffin appliances market. The voluntary standard wick or flame based appliances, which raditionally cover about 90% of the market, was published in 2006 (SANS1906:2006) and was then made a compulsory standard by the minister of Trade and Industry as from January 01, 2007.
“This is a very important step in the struggle to ensure that paraffin can be used safely by households for their cooking, heating and lighting needs. This means there are world class standards covering all known cooking and heating appliances for paraffin. We will do everything in our power to encourage the minister to make this standard for pressure appliances compulsory as well. That way all paraffin appliances for cooking and heating will have to comply with world class safety standards in order to be sold legally. We encourage all manufacturers and suppliers of paraffin appliances to make sure, as a matter of urgency that they have their paraffin-fuelled pressure appliances tested against the SANS 1423:2007 standard by SABS so that there will be no interruption in supply to the public when the standard becomes mandatory in 8 – 12 months time”, urged Patrick Kulati, Managing Director of the Paraffin Safety Association.
Although the wick standard was made compulsory on January 01, 2007, it is unclear if any paraffin-fuelled wick appliances fully comply with the standard. Wick stoves and heaters which do not comply with the SANS 1906:2006 standard continue to be sold illegally in certain stores. This means there is a shortage of wick stove on the market.
This is a desperate situation because consumers who have relied on the unsafe, cheap wick stoves are now using old stoves way beyond their unsafe, useable lifespan.
Matters are worsened by a lack of clear policy on energy for low income households.
We know that grid electricity for thermal needs is not and will not be accessible to all low income households in the short and medium term, possibly even the long term.
The National Energy Efficiency Agency is tasked with managing the demand for electricity and to ensure that peak demand for electricity will not outstrip available supply. Low income households need assistance to ensure they can use alternatives to electricity such as paraffin and Liquefied Petroleum Gas safe and economically, especially during peak demand periods when cooking and heating is most prevalent.
The SANS 1243:2007 standard for Pressurized paraffin-fuelled appliances is available to the public from SABS offices or online from the “Webstore” section of the SABS website. To access Webstore, go to www.sabs.co.za and look for the “Quicklinks/webstore” option to search “1243”. A copy of the standard costs R78. For the consumer, this means they can demand paraffin-fuelled appliances that meet world class safety standards. For the manufacturer and suppliers, the message is clear – make sure your appliances are tested by SABS and comply with the relevant standards.
If consumers have safe and affordable alternatives to electricity such as safe paraffin-fuelled appliances when electricity is temporarily or permanently out of reach, perhaps they will be more forgiving because their household thermal needs will be met.
Issued by The Paraffin Safety Association of Southern Africa
Phumzile Nteyi – Communications Co-ordinator (082 440 8440) Tel: +27 21 671 5767, Fax: +27 21 671 0233, Website: www.paraffinsafety.org
PO Box 2321, Clareinch, 7740
Contact: Patrick Kulati – Managing Director (082 300 7108)
Glenn Truran – General Manager (082 773 0377)