Using gas safely in marine craft

This publication is for: 
ConsumerGas worker

When was the last time you checked your LP gas installation?

Follow this simple checklist to see if your marine craft is safe and complies with the regulations.

  • The gas cylinder should be firmly secured and cylinder valves readily accessible for ease of operation.
  • Cylinder compartments must:
    • Provide adequate protection against the weather.
    • Be constructed of material which is water and corrosion resistant.
    • Be drained and vented to the outside atmosphere to prevent any accumulation of leaking gas within any enclosed area of the marine craft.
  • Filling damaged or out-of-test-date cylinders is illegal and can be dangerous.
  • Out of date cylinders must not be filled until tested and re-stamped by a certified gas cylinder test station.
  • Ensure any installed gas refrigerator is sealed in a cupboard or enclosed compartment and is vented to the outside.
  • Ensure the craft has adequate fixed ventilation.
  • Regularly check the operation of all gas appliances and, if not functioning correctly, have them checked by an authorised gas fitter.
  • Manual shut-off valves must be fitted to the inlet connection of each appliance and be accessible for operation.
  • Use the cooking appliance or stove only for the purpose for which it was designed - cooking, e.g. not as a room heater.
  • High pressure appliances must not be permanently installed in a marine craft, unless approved by a designated gas inspector.

Combustible gas detection systems

  • Gas appliances must not be installed in a marine craft below the level of the main deck, unless an approved combustible gas detection system is installed.
  • A typical gas detection installation consists of a control panel, solenoid valve and a minimum of two sensors.

Safety tips

  1. Close appliance operating knobs before opening cylinder valve.
  2. Periodically check connections for leaks at the appliance, regulator and cylinder with soapy water.
  3. Never use a match or flame when checking for leaks.
  4. Close cylinder valve when appliances are not in use or when the gas cylinder is being filled.
  5. Never leave an appliance with a continuous burning flame operating if any petrol driven vessel if unattended for a period of 12 hours or more.
  6. Use the cooking appliance or stove only for the purpose for which it was designed - cooking, eg not as a room heater.
  7. In the event of fire, immediately close cylinder valve.
  8. Check the flammable gas detector, to determine if flammable vapours are present and the vessel cleared of any flammable vapour before lighting any LP Gas appliance or starting the motor.
  9. All spare gas cylinders, whether full or empty must be fitted with gas tight sealing plugs and all cylinder valves closed.
  10. A licensed gas fitter must perform all additions or alterations to the LP Gas system.  (Consult your LP gas supplier.)
  11. Appliances must not be altered without the authorisation of a gas inspector or the manufacturer and the work must be carried out by a licensed gas fitter.
  12. Familiarise yourself with the odour of unburnt LP Gas, to assist in the early detection of leaks.
  13. All permanent ventilators, flues and vents should be checked regularly to ensure they are clear.
  14. In the event of an accidental gas leak, close the cylinder valve and ventilate the vessel until the air is clear.

Regulatory requirements

Any installation, servicing and repair work to the LP Gas system can only legally be carried out by a gas fitter licensed by Building and Energy​.

All licensed gas fitters are issued with a certificate of competency, permit or authorisation on the basis of their qualifications.

You can easily check if the gas fitter is licensed by requesting their licence number and contacting Building and Energy's Licensing Office for confirmation.

Unlicensed and do-it-yourself work is illegal and can result in prosecution.

Gasfitting is a job for the experts - always employ an authorised gas fitter

The gas fitter who carries out any installation work must:

  • Fix a compliance label to the vessel in a conspicuous position.  The compliance label is a statement from the gas fitter confirming compliance with regulatory requirements.  It includes additional important information such as the gas fitter's details, notice of completion number and installation date.
  • Provide you with a copy of the notice of completion specifying that the work complies with the Gas Standards (Gasfitting and Consumer Gas Installations) Regulations.
  • Consider fitting fiddle rails and pot holders to the cooking appliance to prevent unintentional movement of cooking utensils.
  • Ensure any installed gas refrigerator is sealed in a cupboard or other enclosed compartment and vented to the outside.
  • Ensure that gas appliances are not installed or fitted in any marine craft exit or means of escape and must be located so that, in the event of a fire, the appliance will not impede anyone attempting to leave the craft.

Note:  For commercial marine craft, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority may have additional requirements that are detailed in Marine Order 503 and/or the National Standard for Commercial Vessels.

Advice is available by contacting the following gas suppliers:

Origin Energy     Tel: 13 24 62

BOC Gases       Tel: 13 12 62

Building and Energy​     Tel: (08) 6251 1900


Building and Energy
Last updated 20 Sep 2022

Last modified: