Once gas appliances become part of the house, be sure to keep them running efficiently, reliably and safely.
Beware of gas leaks
Natural gas has an odorant added before being piped for use in houses – so a gas leak can be detected by smell. If there is a smell of gas inside or around your home, there might be a gas leak.
Turn off the gas at the meter and call a licensed gasfitter to have your installation checked.
Be mindful of gas poisoning
If your heater or its flue isn’t working properly, the air in your home may become unsafe, possibly leaving you tired or short of breath. You may develop headaches, dizziness, nausea and weakness. You could also become sleepy and/or confused.
If you suspect your heater is causing these symptoms, turn it off and call a licensed gasfitter.
Keep an eye on the flame
Check the appearance of radiant gas heaters when in operation. A visible flame beyond the immediate surface of the tile could mean the appliance is faulty and that carbon monoxide is being emitted, which will make the air unsafe to breathe.
If you suspect your heater may not be operating properly, turn it off and call a licensed gasfitter.
The flame must be blue
Pilot lights and main burners should produce a blue flame. Call the manufacturer or a licensed gas fitter if the flame is yellow or red.
Does something not smell right?
Take care using older gas-fired or poorly serviced appliances. If you smell a different or unusual odour, immediately shut off the appliance and vacate the room.
The odour could indicate the presence of poisonous gases, including carbon monoxide, which make the air unsafe to breathe. Have it checked by a licensed gasfitter before using it again.
Have your appliances serviced
Ensure all gas appliances are regularly serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines.
Use care when igniting
Before turning on a gas burner, light the match or press the ignition button. If the burner won’t light, turn off the gas and wait for the gas smell to clear before trying again. Don’t turn the gas up to full before igniting it.
Keep flammables away
Keep clothes, papers or any flammable material away from burners. Ensure any permanent ventilation openings are not blocked. Do not spray aerosols near operating gas appliances. The flammable gas in aerosols can be a fire hazard.
Stick to the one gas source
Don’t operate natural gas appliances on any other type of gas. Liquid petroleum gas and natural gas are different. Operating an appliance on the wrong type of gas can be extremely hazardous.
Don’t force control knobs
Never tamper with safety valves or other fittings and do not use excessive force to open or close gas control knobs.
Keep appliances clean
Keep your gas oven and hot plates clean, avoiding build-up of fat and burnt food.
Shut down before you go
Turn off gas heaters when you leave the house or go to sleep.
Take care with kids
Always supervise young children near any gas appliance.
Don’t use outdoor gas appliances indoors
Outdoor appliances such as barbecues and camping equipment shouldn’t be used inside the home or buildings.
Flueless heaters need permanent ventilation
For more information about the legal requirements or technical advice about unflued gas heaters, contact either your gasfitter or the technical regulator in your state.