Letters & Opinion

Gas Out!

The Independent Eye - By Kensley Peter Charlemagne

I have been meaning to write about this for a long time but having met more people with the same issue made it more imperative. I thought I was the only one with a problem with the regulator, the head that goes on the tank of my 20lb.cooking gas, but in relating my story, it seems like the place is flooded, like a room filled with escaping liquid cooking gas. Only if we were suffocating like this, we would be bawling, “Soukou, soukou. Bondye, soukou!” But in Saint Lucia we are like frogs in slow warming water on our way to our very graves, making a do about nothing. We are silent, secret complainers.

With the change from Texaco to Rubis and Shell to Sol it seems like not only the names have been erased but the standards. The exchange was a messy one with court cases and a load of confusing public relations media blast. You really thought you were getting a good deal but with the change, I have had to exchange my head only a few months to having used it. Some people tell me that they have had to change theirs as many as six times. With me, it was not just that you returned home to a smelly locked house, signifying that there was a leak but the regulator was not allowing the flow of gas to the stove or oven and I know it could not have been that my tank was already empty. A tank of gas which used to last me three months, now only lasts me three weeks and even as I write this, the smell hits my nose, reminding me that I need to remove the head off the tank whenever it’s not in use. What a hassle!

I have been trying to figure out whether the two companies use the same regulators but the attendant at my retail store tells me, no. I have been considering going back to my original supplier but I am told that they have the same issue. And so I wonder if the Bureau of Standard is aware of the issue and if they are not, let this article serve as an open letter to them.

I used to think it was our hardware stores selling us “pashpash” quality products but these are coming from the suppliers. So please Mr Bureau of Standard do look into this issue and make a recall if you need to.


  1. The smelly gas situation must be awful to come home to. Just wondering can the vapour from the liquid gas mixed into the air cause a fire in the home or property?

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