Approval required before sale

As of 1 April 2011, there is a legal requirement to have new cabinet heaters approved by Energy Safety before being sold or offered for sale in New Zealand.

The regulations allow Energy Safety to set out the following conditions:

  • The appliance must be certified to the European standard for cabinet heaters.
  • The appliance must perform satisfactorily on New Zealand LPG.
  • Certain warning notices and labels must be attached to the appliance.

LPG cabinet heaters are not recommended for use in homes with children with respiratory conditions.

If you have a LPG cabinet heater, Energy Safety has these simple safety tips to keep you warm and safe.

Follow the ‘Heater Metre Rule’

  • This is the golden rule when children and adults are around any sort of heat source such as a fireplace or cabinet heater. Always keep at least one metre from any heat source. This will limit the chance of getting too close to a heater and burning yourself.
  • Never stand directly in front of the heater, especially when operating the controls. Cabinet heaters have a very high heat output and may ignite clothing that is too close.
  • Keep heaters at least one metre away from materials that can burn such as curtains, clothes, furniture and rugs. Never hang clothes on a heater to dry – this is a common cause of fires.

Fireguards

  • It’s also important to have some sort of protection around heat sources, such as a fire guard, to prevent any injuries. Having a fire guard will significantly reduce the risk of you getting burnt.
  • Make sure vulnerable people such as children and the infirm are safe around your LPG cabinet heater. Using a fireguard around your heater will give extra protection.

Check the connections on your heater for leaking LPG

  • Test for gas leaks using the soapy water test after you have filled your cylinder and reconnected it to your heater.
  • Spread soapy water on the cylinder connections.
  • Turn on the cylinder valve. If bubbles appear LPG is leaking.
  • Close the valve and contact your LPG service agent.

Make sure your heater is well ventilated

  • Portable gas heaters such as LPG cabinet heaters and unflued space heaters need special care. Unflued gas appliances draw the air they need from the space around them and discharge the waste combustion products directly into that space.
  • If ventilation is restricted it may cause a build up of fumes. If an appliance is faulty or has not been maintained, it can produce carbon monoxide, a gas that can cause headaches and nausea, possibly leading to unconsciousness and even death. Always keep a window open when these heaters are in use.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Never use your LPG cabinet heater in any bedroom, bathroom, or confined space.

Have your heater serviced

  • Do not use your heater if you smell LPG.
  • Your LPG cabinet heater should be serviced every 12 months. Check in the Yellow Pages under “Gas Appliances” for servicing and repairs.

Gas and LPG safety

  • Use your nose – if you smell LPG or anything unusual, turn off your heater and cylinder immediately.
  • Call an LPG service agent.