Gas appliances are safe to use when treated with care and respect. However, they need to be properly installed and maintained regularly so they to continue to operate safely and efficiently.
The design, construction and installation of gas appliances ensures their safe and efficient operation. However, because of some recent incidents with some types of fully-enclosed glass fronted flame effect heaters that have resulted in the shattering of glass, usually into a living area of a home, Energy Safety wishes to remind consumers of the need for regular maintenance of your gas appliances.
This information uses “flame effect heater” to refer to gas heaters and fires where the gas flame is used to create the look of a traditional solid fuel heater or fire, with logs or coals. However, the “flame effect” means that they require careful installation and maintenance.
All gas appliances have to meet the requirements of the Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010, which requires they meet the installation standard, AS/NZS 5061. This includes setting appliances up in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
Flame effect heaters must be installed by a licensed gasfitter. A Certificate of Compliance is required for all new gas installations and most alterations to existing installations in your home. Make sure your gasfitter gives you a Certificate to confirm the work was completed safely and in accordance with the Regulations.
Maintenance and servicing
Energy Safety advises consumers to have their flame effect heater maintained, at least on an annual basis. The manufacturer’s instructions may give specific advice relevant to your particular appliance.
The manufacturer’s instructions may identify some minor work that you may do yourself. Otherwise, maintenance and any servicing that is required should be undertaken by a gasfitter or a service technician competent to work on the particular appliance. If you are unsure you should have a gasfitter or service technician do the work. Remember, some appliance suppliers may specify that any work has to be done by their nominated agents.
If you notice any of the following signs, you should not use the heater or installation and you should have it serviced immediately:
- A smell of gas in the building generally, or from the appliance.
- Difficulty in establishing a flame or unusual delays in flame ignition.
- An unusual flame pattern or if the flame has not fully established over whole extent of the burner.
- Blockage of burner ports or evidence of corrosion around burner ports.
- Any alteration in the position of the artificial logs or burner bed.
- Soot appearing progressively on the inside of the glass panels.
- Headaches, nausea, general tiredness or flu-like symptoms coinciding with the operation of the appliance.