Is your gas heater safe this winter?

Gas heating is generally a safe and efficient way to heat your home. However, poor maintenance and lack of servicing of your gas appliances can have serious consequences. All gas heaters have the potential to spill carbon monoxide, a gas you can’t see or smell that can make you seriously ill or even cause death.

To be sure your heater is safe this winter, you should:

  1. Ensure it has been serviced within a 2 year time frame.
  2. Check to ensure there has been no safety advice published for your heater (https://www.productsafety.gov.au/).
  3. Never place outdoor heating appliances in an enclosed space or indoors.

You will be unable to tell if your heater is leaking carbon monoxide (CO). It is a gas you can’t see or smell, so be sure to have your heater serviced this winter.

Make sure your tradesman is licensed

All gas fitting work, including servicing of appliances must be carried out by a suitably licensed gas fitter. You can check your tradesman’s license by using our online search: https://www.cbos.tas.gov.au/topics/licensing-and-registration/search-licensed-occupations

Are you a tenant, rental provider or real estate agent?

If your property has a gas heater installed, please ensure it is serviced every 2 years. If you have a fault with your heater, make sure you report it within 7 days to your property manager.

Use your gas heater safely

Follow all manufactures instructions for the safe use of your appliance. Always have your portable heaters set up on a firm, level non-combustible base. Children and pets should always be supervised while gas heaters are in use. Ensure that while your gas heater is being used, you do not have anything placed against the heater, this can cause a dangerous situation or even a fire. Some gas heaters require permanent fixed ventilation, ensure these are always kept clear. Never bring any portable approved for “outdoor use only” appliances indoors as the safety parameters on these appliances are only suitable for well ventilated spaces like outdoors.

Warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

If you start to experience any of the following warning signs while using your gas appliances, STOP using your appliances immediately and call a gas fitter to carry out a service and test your appliance.

First warning signs may be

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fatigue

Energy Safe Victoria have produced a number of awareness video’s highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide and the need to service gas appliances every two years. You can access them via https://esv.vic.gov.au/

Updated: 28 May 2021

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.