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  • Gas Safety

    Gas Safety at Home

February 2018

Protect your family and home from gas leaks and gas related emergencies with these safety tips and procedures.

Gas safety at home is crucial to your family’s wellbeing. That’s why you should educate yourself and your children on the safest uses for your gas appliances. Gas heating appliances that are faulty or not maintained properly can pose a deadly risk.1 Use the gas safety tips below to keep your gas appliances in the best possible condition, prevent gas leaks and safeguard your family.

Installing gas appliances2

Buy certified appliances

When buying gas appliances, be sure to choose safe gas appliances. While retailers are obliged to sell compliant appliances, the responsibility ultimately lies with you. Ensure that your gas appliance has been certified by one of the following bodies:

  • Vipac
  • Global-Mark
  • SAI Global
  • Australian Gas Association (AGA)

Make sure it is compatible3

Operating an appliance with the wrong type of gas can be hazardous. It is dangerous to connect an LP gas appliance to your natural gas supply, but it is possible for a licensed and endorsed gasfitter to convert it to natural gas.

Always check identification plates on second-hand appliances to confirm that it is compatible with your gas supply.

Only use licensed gas installers

When you buy a new gas appliance, it is a good idea to hire a licensed gas fitter to ensure it runs safely, reliably and efficiently. You can speak to the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs and the Office of the Technical Regulator about finding a licensed gasfitter.4

On completion of your installation, ask for a gas certificate of compliance.

Servicing gas appliances

Gas appliance maintenance is important when it comes to the safety of your family and home. Hire a licensed gas fitter to service your gas appliances according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, or every two years as a minimum. All gasfitters must do a carbon monoxide spillage test using a CO analyser.5

Some of the aspects a professional licensed gas fitter checks include:

  • Worn out or failing safety controls.
  • Fans, airways and air filters that are blocked by dust or lint, as blockages may cause burner problems and overheating.
  • Burners in space heaters or water heaters can get blocked by dust or lint, causing soot to build up in the flue passageways and heat exchanger.

Operating gas appliances

Only use gas appliances for the purpose they were intended, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Here are some important tips:

  • Never leave young children unsupervised near gas appliances or heaters.
  • Gently open and close the gas control knobs on your appliances.
  • Do not tamper with the safety valves.
  • Never use your gas oven as a clothes dryer or space heater.
  • Always turn off the radiant gas heater when sleeping or leaving your home.
  • Keep your range hood, cooktop, oven and barbeque clean to prevent any fat or grime build-up that might cause fire risks.
  • Never leave food unattended on your stove top.
  • Remove any flammable items, including paper and clothing from around or on top of your gas appliances.

Outdoor gas appliances

Outdoor cooking is a favourite Australian pastime on the weekends, and gas is a quick and convenient way to get a fire going. However, while it is outside, gas accidents can still occur if you’re not careful.

  • Store fuels such as mineral turpentine or petrol, combustible chemicals, and pressure packs away from gas appliances or flue outlets.
  • Never use aerosol sprays near any gas appliances.

What to Do in Case of a Gas Outage, Leak or Fire

Natural gas is lighter than air, which means it quickly dissipates into the atmosphere. However, it can build up quickly in confined spaces, which might pose potential danger.

Gas outage

If you’re experiencing an unexpected gas outage - and you have not received a notification from the Australian Gas Networks or APA Group - call the Gas Supply Faults hotline at 1800 898 220 to find out if there is a supply outage in your area.

Gas leak

What to do when gas leaks in a house

If you smell gas on your property or on the street up to and including the meter, call Gas Leaks and Emergency Services on 1800 GAS LEAK (1800 427 532) to report the gas leak. Request a team of technicians to locate the leak and perform the necessary repairs.

If the leak is on your side of the property after the meter, or inside your home, contact a licensed gas fitter instead. A licensed professional will repair the leak and relight your appliances.

Steps to take when you smell gas in your home

If you detect a gas leak, you should immediately do as follows:

  • Turn off all your pilot lights and appliances.
  • Turn off the main gas supply by the meter.
  • Open all your windows and doors for ventilation.

These are the don’ts when you smell gas in your home:

  • Do not use a cigarette lighter or matches inside or on the property.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not touch any light switches, flashlights, or telephones to avoid the risk of setting off a spark that might cause a gas fire.
  • Do not try to locate the gas leak using a naked flame.

General Gas Safety Tips

  • In the event of a bushfire approaching your home, always turn off your natural gas supply.
  • Always keep the area surrounding your gas appliances and the gas meter clear of combustible materials.
  • Turn pot handles away from the edge of the stove when cooking with gas.
  • Install a fire extinguisher and blanket within easy access of your kitchen.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and be sure to have them serviced once a year. Regularly check the batteries.
  • Always check that the flame has not gone out on your gas stove, as it will allow gas to escape invisibly and silently.
  • Do not let the flame extend past the side of the pot.
  • Keep oven mitts and tea-towels away from the stovetop.

Final Thoughts

Being safe around gas is essential to your family’s health and safety. Understanding how gas works and what to do in emergency situations will ensure that you and your family stay out of harm’s way. Follow our gas safety tips to prepare yourself, and educate your family on what to do in the event of a gas leak or malfunction.

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