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Appliance Safety

Appliance Operation

To ensure you operate your gas appliances efficiently:

  • Maintain ventilation to ensure adequate oxygen supply to enable safe and efficient operation of appliances;
  • Make sure your gas hot water systems are not overheating the water and the temperature is right for the time of year to reduce risk of scalding;
  • Check that your gas hot water system is effective and taps are not leaking;
  • Cover heated pools when not in use;
  • Turn your gas water heater to the “vacation” setting and consider turning the pilot light off if you are not using it for extended periods of time;

For water heaters in bathrooms and kitchens, ensure that:

  • The water heater is serviced by qualified gas appliance service personnel. Retain a written report of the work undertaken;
  • Unobstructed ventilation is continually present in your bathroom and/or kitchen;
  • The flue pipe is free from all restrictions;
  • There is no evidence of the burner creating soot deposits (look for signs of discolouration on and around the water heater);
  • Any exhaust fan within the bathroom is disconnected (when operating these fans can cause flue gases to re-enter the bathroom);
  • Do not use or store flammable products such as gasoline, solvents, or adhesives in the same room or area near the water heater or any other gas appliances.

Room Sealed Gas Appliances

A ”room-sealed appliance” means an appliance whose combustion system is sealed from the room in which the appliance is located and which obtains air for combustion from a ventilated uninhabited space within the premises or directly from the open air outside the premises and which vents the products of combustion directly to open air outside the premises.

The Regulations prohibit the installation of certain types of gas appliances in certain areas; such as a room used or intended to be used as a bathroom or sleeping accommodation. Although this is a general requirement on all properties, a consumer has additional specific duties under the Regulations to:

  • Check that such appliances are not installed in any room occupied or intended to be occupied as sleeping accommodation; and
  • Ensure that the regulations are not contravened when a room is converted to form accommodation used or intended to be used as sleeping accommodation.

Flue-Less Gas Heaters

A flue-less gas space heater is a gas appliance that does not have a flue to collect and exhaust to an outside area, the products of combustion that result from burning gas in the appliance.  This type of appliance releases all the combustion products directly into the room it is heating.

Should consumers be worried about emissions from Flue-less Gas Heaters?

Flue-less gas heaters are known to increase the level of pollutants inside a home. Recent research has found that at high levels, these pollutants can increase the incidence of symptoms in some people with respiratory sensitivities.

People with asthma are particularly susceptible to increased levels of indoor air pollutants and may experience asthma symptoms more often. If it affects some people with certain health problems, a flued heater should be considered.

How are Flue-less Gas Heater Emissions Measured?

They are measured according to the strict Methods of Test in the Australian Standard. All products must comply with the AS/NZS 5263.1.3:2016 Gas Space Heating Appliances. For further information visit: www.standards.org.au

Who’s Responsible for Measuring these Emissions?

The Australian Gas Association has a certification process. For further information visit: www.gas.asn.au

Recommendations for using a Flue-less Gas Heater

There are several things users can do to avoid or reduce exposure to pollutants from flue-less gas heaters:

  • Keep the room well ventilated. If the room is fitted with a gas bayonet fitting (quick connect device socket) to allow the connection of a flue-less gas heater, then by law two permanent ventilation openings must be installed. The vents must connect to the outside of the building and one vent must be installed at low level and the other vent at high level.
  • The physical external dimensions of each vent should be not less than the equivalent of 310 mm x 170 mm (to provide for a minimum open area of 25,000 square mm based on the vent design having an open area of 48%).
  • Never use a flue-less gas space heater in a bedroom, bathroom or in a caravan.  (Note: Flue-less gas space heaters are being phased out of use in child care centres and all types of schools, to avoid the lengthy exposure of children to the emissions produced).
  • Do not use the gas heater unless it has been certified for use by the Australian Gas Association or SAI Global (check for label or badge attached), or if the gas consumption of the heater exceeds 25 MJ per hour.
  • Make sure that air volume of the room in which the heater is used is at least 30 cubic metres (for example: 3.5 m x 3.5 m with a 2.4 m high ceiling).
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the use of the gas space heater. Have each flue-less gas space heater serviced by a qualified person once every two years. A poorly maintained gas heater, together with inadequate ventilation, may contribute to high levels of pollutants.

Gas Barbeques

What are the general installation requirements for Gas Barbeques?

Ensure your barbeque has been assembled and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and by a licensed gas fitter. Keep the barbeque at least 3 metres from windows and doors and away from wooden fences, wooden walls, combustible overhead roofs and from trees with low branches.

How to use Gas Barbeques Safely

To ensure you use your gas barbeque safely:

  • The barbeque lid must be open when lighting the barbeque;
  • Should the burners go out during operation or if the burner does not light, turn all gas valves off, open the lid and wait 5 minutes before attempting to relight;
  • Should a grease fire occur, leave lid open and turn off burners if you can do so safely. If this is not possible, turn gas off at quick connect and shut-off valve;
  • Check out gas leaks every time you disconnect and reconnect any gas fitting or LP tank. For correct procedure, refer to the owner’s manual;
  • Do not leave food unattended on the barbeque. Barbequing involves a certain amount of fat dripping on to the heat source which causes flaring. A small amount of flaring is acceptable as the smoking will contribute to a barbeque flavour. However, if flaring is excessive, it is important to move food to another location on the grid and/or reduce or turn off heat. To prevent excessive flaring, trim fat from meal cuts. Occasionally turn over lava rock/ceramic briquettes to bun off accumulated fat;
  • To prevent burns, always use proper tools and oven mitts when barbecuing. Avoid wearing long loose sleeves or clothing, which can catch fire easily;
  • If your barbeque has a rotisserie unit, once it is connected to an electrical outlet, it should not be operated in damp or wet weather. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before operating;
  • The barbeque must be thoroughly cleaned at least annually according to the manufacturer’s instructions; and
  • When barbeque is not in use, turn the gas off at the quick connection location and cover to protect barbeque from the elements.

Patio Heaters

What are the general installation requirements for Patio Heaters?

Ensure your patio heater has been assembled and installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, including recommendation on the required clearances needed between outdoor heaters and other materials.

How to use Patio Heaters Safely

For patio heaters, keep in mind the following:

  • Outdoor heaters are not suitable for indoor use and should only be used in well-ventilated outdoor areas;
  • Keep outdoor heaters clear from awnings and combustible materials. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for specific clearance requirements;
  • Outdoor heaters should be placed on stable and level ground and must be protected from damage or interference to avoid the heater being knocked over or hitting people or causing a fire;
  • Provide enough clearance for people to move safely around portable heaters. If it looks dangerous move the heater to safer location;
  • Service the heater on a regular basis and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation;
  • Check gas connection for leaks; and

Look for the CAB badge of compliance.