Explosion / Fire

Our stove after the fire.

On Friday, November 16, 2012, we had a fire in our home. While P. was baking, the seal between the LPG regulator and the tank developed a leak. The heat from the oven ignited the gas, causing the hose and regulator to explode, which was heard by many of the neighbors. The stove then caught fire as gas kept leaking out of the regulator. Thankfully the neighbors heard P.s’ call for help and they ran in and worked to get the fire extinguished before it got out of hand. If the Fire Department would have been called it would have taken them 30-45 minutes to arrive. There’s only one fire station in this city of  ½ million people. Click the following to read our post about Jambi’s Fire Department.

Our stove after the fire.

Most hardware stores here in Indonesia sell inferior, as well as defective products. Due to low standards of quality, stores rarely, if ever, offer any type of guarantee on the products they sell. Everybody knows that when you purchase something you must coba dulu, that is, try it before you buy it……… For Example: light bulbs are always removed from boxes and tested prior to being purchased).

The internal parts of outlets and plugs are very fragile. We’ve have to replace these on several occasions. Some never worked when they were brand new.

Not Criticizing Indonesians

We are writing this information for foreigners who may come and live in Indonesia, not to complain or criticize about Indonesians. We’re sure most Indonesians are highly disappointed with the quality of products that are sold here as well.

Foreigners familiar with having highly reliable products, and products that come with warranties that are honored by manufacturers, will have a difficult time adjusting to warranties of only a few days, or no warranties at all. Stores know products are inferior so they are highly reluctant to offer them to customers.

After the above mentioned fire we purchased a new gas regulator. It didn’t work. We took it back, and since it was still within the 3 day warranty limit, we got another one, but it also didn’t work. We then had to make a separate purchase of a third one.

This valve rusted out in a relatively short period of time.

Even though products may have a QC (quality control) sticker on it saying it passed the manufacturers test, it doesn’t really mean they will work. Low quality products makes getting tasks done take twice as much time, as well as being more expensive in the long run. From our view point, we would rather pay more for a quality product than to have to purchase the same product several times, or have to replace it frequently because it didn’t last long.

Due to Indonesia being a developing nation, they’ve yet to have enforcement of safety codes in most areas. Unskilled laborers are commonly used to construct homes and apartments, and coupled with low quality construction materials, most homes are left with many potential hazards. The foreigner living in Indonesia needs to prepare themselves for these dangers and take all the precautions they can to make their home as safe as possible.

Stores sell several products that are used to hold LPG regulators on tanks properly. The mechanism on the regulators often don’t function properly. The regulator above claimed to be “anti-bocor” (anti-leak). This is the one that leaked, exploded, and created the fire in our home.

Renting Homes and Home Repairs in Indonesia

Read our post about Renting Homes in Indonesia. It explains that expenses for home repairs are the responsibility of the renter—not that of the home owner.


We’ve purchased several of these sprayers because they would severely leak, even though they were “just out of the box.” (They came with no warranty.)