Gas and electrical safety tips for Easter campers
- Use portable gas appliances and generators outdoors
- ‘Soapy water test’ shows leaks from a gas cylinder, hose or connections
- Check extension cords and other electrical equipment for damage
As families and friends get set for the Easter holidays, WA’s energy safety regulator is sharing its top tips for using gas and electrical appliances safely while camping and caravanning.
Building and Energy says portable gas appliances must always be used in the open air to avoid potentially lethal exposure to carbon monoxide.
“Gas-powered portable appliances, such as barbecues, cookers, heaters and fridges, should be labelled ‘outdoor use only’,” WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said.
“They should never be used inside tents, caravans, campervans or other enclosed areas, even if the doors or windows are open.
“Gas equipment is safe to use if it is in good condition, operated correctly and in a proper location but the consequences can be catastrophic if carbon monoxide builds up in an area without enough ventilation.”
Before using portable gas equipment, check for gas leaks by spraying soapy water on the LPG cylinder outlet, hose and appliance connections while the gas is turned on but before it is ignited. Bubbles or a gas smell are signs of a leak.
“It’s also important to read the safety warnings on the appliance and follow the manufacturer’s instructions,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.
Gas cylinders should be transported in an upright position while secured firmly and outside the passenger area. Also look for a stamp on the LPG cylinder to show its last test date, which should not have exceeded 10 years.
Portable generators are also a carbon monoxide hazard, so they should be used in a well-ventilated, outdoor area away from open windows and vents.
If an extension cord is used with a generator or an outdoor socket outlet, ensure the cord is in good condition prior to use. Do not overload power boards by connecting extension cords or additional power outlets.
Electrical equipment inside tents, caravans or RVs should not be left unattended or charging on bedding or other flammable materials.
“Have a good look at your gas or electrical equipment while you’re packing – if you have any doubts about its safety, don’t use it and arrange to have it checked by a licensed gas fitter or a licensed electrician,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.
Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au