Sale of unsafe open flued gas space heaters prohibited
As of the 10 October 2022, the sale of open-flued gas space heaters that don’t have safety shutdown features has been prohibited. This includes the sale of new and second hand heaters.
The prohibition took effect on 10 October 2022.
What are the safety concerns?
It’s possible for open-flued gas space heaters to spill carbon monoxide in a negative pressure environment.
Negative pressure can occur when a home isn’t ventilated enough and an exhaust fan is on. For example, when operating a:
- kitchen range hood
- bathroom fan
- roof-mounted exhaust fan.
This can cause external openings such as flues to draw air into the home. That means dangerous gasses such as carbon monoxide can be drawn into living spaces.
A safe open-flued gas space heater will shut down if this occurs.
For more information, view the information on negative pressure.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, poisonous gas which may be produced by faulty, poorly maintained or misused gas appliances.
CO interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, which can cause serious health issues and can even be fatal.
You may not know you have been exposed to potentially fatal levels of carbon monoxide until the symptoms of poisoning become severe.
Exposure to low levels of CO may result in a person experiencing headaches, weakness, fatigue and nausea but at higher levels, symptoms could include severe headache, dizziness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, vomiting, seizures and collapse. In extreme cases this can lead to coma and death.
Maintenance and correct ventilation will ensure gas appliances produce minimal CO.
Further information about Carbon monoxide can be found here.
Visit this page to learn more about whether your gas heater is safe
Visit this page to view details of a national open flue gas heater recall
Frequently asked questions
Why are you banning the sale of open-flued gas space heaters ?
Not all open-flued gas space heaters are being banned. Only sale of open-flued gas space heaters that do not have a safety shutdown feature and do not meet AS/NZS 5263.1.3:2021 or AS/NZS 5263.1.8:2021 Australian Standards.
Open-flued gas space heaters that do not have a safety shut down feature are old technology and are not compatible with modern housing which is generally better insulated and sealed.
Carbon monoxide (CO) can leak into living areas. CO poisoning can lead to serious health issues and death.
What are the new safety features that are required on open-flued gas space heaters?
The new safety features shuts the heater down if it starts spilling carbon monoxide or any other exhaust fumes.
The heater will have to be reset by a licensed gasfitter, once they are satisfied the heater is safe again.
How do I know if my heater is open-flued?
The best way is to contact the manufacturer with the model number. Alternatively, a licensed gas fitter will be able to help.
How do I check my open-flued gas space heater is compliant?
Check the appliance data plate for the date of manufacture. If it was manufactured on or after 1 January 2022 it should be complaint. If you can’t find the data plate, contact the manufacturer to check if your model is compliant.
Building and Energy recommends consumers check and verify this information before purchasing any open-flued gas space heater.
An open-flued gas space heater manufactured before 1 January 2022 may still be compliant if the data plate can confirm compliance with AS/NZS 5263.1.3:2021 or AS/NZS 5263.1.8:2021 Australian Standards. Confirm with the manufacturer that these appliances incorporate the safety features adopted in the 2021 version of the Australian Standards.
If your existing open-flued gas heater was manufactured prior to 1 January 2022, Building and Energy recommends you get the heater serviced by a licensed gas fitter before the next use.
I can’t see the appliance data plate, how do I know if my appliance is compliant?
The best way is to call the manufacturer.
Alternatively, search the GTRC National Certification Database to confirm if your appliance model is compliant. If it was certified under AS/NZS 5263.1.3: 2021 or AS/NZS 5263.1.8: 2021 the appliance is complaint.
What do I do if I have an open-flued gas space heater in my home?
Open-flued gas space heaters must be used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and serviced by a licensed gas fitter:
- at least once every two years or to the manufacturer’s instructions; or
- if the heater is over 10 years old, have it serviced annually.
Also, when you run the heater:
- Do not operate extraction fans such as your kitchen rangehood or bathroom fan if possible. When there is a lack of ventilation this can cause a negative pressure environment where CO or other poisonous gasses can be drawn out of your flue and into living areas.
- Allow for adequate ventilation when operating the heater.
- Also check for safety alerts against certain types of open-flued gas space heaters on our website.
I have purchased an open-flued gas heater but haven’t had it installed. What do I do?
If you have purchased an open-flued gas space heater that is yet to be installed, we advise that you contact the retailer to discuss your options.
Manufacturers have been notified of the prohibition order in Western Australia and we expect all manufacturers to inform retailers of the prohibition.
Building and Energy recommends that owners should not install non-compliant open-flued gas space heaters even if they were purchased prior to the prohibition order banning their sale.
Can I still sell my house if there is a non-compliant open-flued gas heater installed in it?
Yes. The prohibition on the sale of any new or second-hand non-compliant open-flued gas space heater does not prohibit the sale of property in which an appliance is installed, and any sale of property will not constitute a breach of the prohibition order.
What are the penalties for selling open-flued gas space heaters?
From 10 October 2022, anyone selling an open-flued gas space heater without the required safety features is contravening section 13H of the Gas Standards Act 1972. The penalty for this can be up to $250,000.
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