Department of Human Services

Disability SA Bulletin 101 – Safe use of gas heating appliances

September 2016 - Gas heating is a safe and reliable source of heating if used correctly.  It can be used in the home and in businesses, including those that provide services to people with disability.

Important steps must be taken for the ongoing safety of people using your facilities if you have gas heating or are considering installing it. These steps cover:

  • installing and maintaining gas appliances
  • daily use of such appliances.

Installing and maintaining gas heating

(Sources: South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service, the South Australian Office of the Technical Regulator, the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and the Australian Parenting websites)

Have your heating appliances installed by a licenced gas fitter in accordance of the manufacturer’s instructions.

Vent your gas heaters properly to prevent build-up of carbon monoxide, an odourless, colourless and deadly gas produced by the combustion of natural gas.

Have the heating appliance serviced yearly or twice yearly by a licenced gas fitter to ensure there are no carbon monoxide leaks.

Test your smoke alarms monthly, with batteries replaced at least once a year.

Choose portable gas heaters that have an automatic safety switch that turns off the heater if it is tipped over.

Daily use of gas appliances

Do not light a gas heater if you can smell gas. Turn off the appliance and contact your gas supplier or licenced gas fitter. Open the doors and windows to prevent gas build up and increase ventilation.

Establish a one-metre clearance zone around the appliance so that paper, clothes, bedding, furniture and curtains do not combust, and to prevent accidents involving people and pets.

Install a screen or guard so that people cannot touch or fall against the hot surface of the appliance.

Place a 700mm high heater guard at least one metre clear of hot surfaces.  You can also secure the guard to the walls or floor to prevent its falling or tipping over.

Supervise children and vulnerable adults around heating appliances.

Use or store flammable materials far away from gas appliances as their use or proximity can cause fire. Flammable materials include spray aerosols, laundry products or cleaning solvents.

Never tamper with the safety valves or other fittings on the appliance.

Do not use or store LPG cylinders inside.

Avoid using portable heaters on table tops unless they are secure and designed for that purpose.

Always turn the appliance off when there is no one in the building, or when all occupants are asleep.

More information about gas appliance safety

Home heating (South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service)

Using gas appliances safely (Department for Energy and Mining)

Factsheets for child safety – burns and scalds, and fire guards (Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne)

Always phone 000 for Fire Services attendance if there is a fire, even if it seems to have gone out.

Contact: Sonia Mangelsen

Phone: 618 8415 4390


Page last updated : 31 Dec 2018

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