Holiday-makers urged to be gas safe this Christmas

21/12/2012

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The public is being urged to take extra care this Christmas when using LP gas while camping, caravanning or barbecuing at home.

The Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) Technical Regulator, Rob Faunt said incorrect use of gas appliances such as three-way portable refrigerators and barbecues around camp sites or at home can be very dangerous.

"Three-way portable fridges are designed to operate on either 240 volts, 12 volts or on LP gas and like other gas appliances, must always be used in well ventilated areas," he said.

When using gas appliances it is important to remember:

  • all gas appliances need fresh air to operate correctly, so if ventilation is poor, the appliance will begin to produce excessive carbon monoxide which is invisible and can potentially be fatal
  • when caravanning, never use a cooker or oven as a heater and avoid using portable gas appliances (such as three-way portable fridges) in unventilated areas like your caravan, car or tent
  • to ensure good ventilation, always keep any fixed ventilation openings clear inside yourcaravan or vehicle
  • ensure your BBQ is clean - the build-up of grease and fat can be very hazardous, especially if you only use it once a year to cook Christmas dinner
  • when camping, always check your equipment is in good working order and keep naked flames clear of tents and other combustible materials
  • do not use portable gas cooking or heating appliances inside tents, especially if the tent fabric is wet, as this can restrict ventilation
  • keep your manufacturer's instructions in a safe place - preferably with the gas appliance for easy reference
  • gas appliances should also be supervised by an adult at all times.

"BBQs with family and friends are a great social event but a happy event can turn to tragedy if you don't check all gas connections and refer to the manufacturer's instructions before lighting up," Mr Faunt said.

For more information call the Office of the Technical Regulator on 8226 5518 or visit www.sa.gov.au/energysafe