Using gas appliances safely
Now summer is officially over, our attention may soon turn to gas heaters and other gas appliances in the home.
A recent safety alert affecting four popular gas heaters is a timely reminder that any gas equipment should be used and maintained correctly to avoid potentially dangerous consequences.
Along with our colleagues at Building and Energy (formerly EnergySafety), Consumer Protection is highlighting a national safety alert for Regency i31, Regency F38/FG38 (natural gas), Nectre 2000 and Real Flame Pyrotech open-flued gas heaters.
Under certain circumstances, they may produce too much carbon monoxide. Exposure to this colourless, odourless and poisonous gas at certain levels is a health hazard and can be fatal.
Owners of these appliances – as well as Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage gas heaters, which are the subject of a similar safety alert – should stop using them immediately and contact the supplier.
Even if you don’t have these particular models, it’s important to note that carbon monoxide may be produced by any faulty, poorly maintained or misused gas appliance.
A Victorian grandmother’s tragic death in 2017 from carbon monoxide shows the importance of using all gas equipment in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and with adequate ventilation to ensure combustion products are dispersed.
Tips for safe gas use:
- Have your gas appliances checked and serviced regularly by a licensed gas fitter or service agent. For newer appliances, this should be done at least every two years. If the equipment is more than 10 years old, it should be checked annually.
- Keep gas appliances clean and free of dust.
- Ensure the area is well ventilated.
- Don’t operate multiple high-volume exhaust fans with flued gas appliances, as this may draw flue products back into well-sealed rooms.
- Never use outdoor appliances (such as barbecues and patio heaters) inside. Even outside, exterior blinds and other surroundings should be up and open for ventilation.
- Never modify gas appliances or use them for purposes contrary to the manufacturers’ instructions.
Visit www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/energysafety for more information, including images of the heaters affected by the national safety alert.
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