Change text size:   Increase font size   Reduce font size  |   Print page:   Print this page
  |   Contact us   
Standard fact sheet.
Large print fact sheet.

Ban on non-compliant gas area heaters 

A non-compliant gas area heater is an outdoor heater with an integrated gas cylinder that has a heating source less than 1.8 metres from the ground. These non-compliant area heaters are commonly referred to as Decorative outdoor heaters, Column heaters and Pyramid heaters.Image of various gas area heaters

There are several safety concerns relating to non-compliant area heaters. Their size and portability means they are easily moved around. A major risk is that they are brought indoors, which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Due to the element’s low height there is an increased risk of burns, especially for children, and an increased risk of clothing accidently catching alight.

As a result of ongoing safety concerns, Fair Trading issued a Prohibition Order against any further sales of these types of heaters on 24 October 2014. This does not mean that you must stop using a heater if you already have one, but it is an offence to sell one after that date, including second-hand sales. Retailers and suppliers can find out more information on the Gas appliances page under the Businesses section of our website.

Important safety tips

If you own and use an area heater, always observe these safety tips:

  • Never use your area heater indoors or in an enclosed space. There is a risk of suffering carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Ensure gas connections such as regulators and hoses are connected properly and in good working order. Check regularly for gas leaks from connections and hoses.  
  • When operating do not stand close to the heater. Be mindful of children, as the flame is at a lower height which may result in burns and clothing catching alight.
  • Ensure the heater is kept clean and free obstruction (eg. cigarette butts)
  • Ensure heater is maintained and the grill compartment is regularly cleaned when not in use.

WARNING: Carbon Monoxide is odourless, tasteless and colourless and can lead to death.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be a dull headache, nausea, weakness, vomiting and blurred vision.

Other information for owners of non-compliant heaters

These questions and answers provide consumer advice following the Prohibition Order issued by Fair Trading to stop the sale of all non-compliant area heaters in NSW.

I only purchased an area heater recently, do I need to return it?

No. The Prohibition Order issued by NSW Fair Trading is for immediately stopping the sale of all non-compliant area heaters in NSW. This is not a recall. There is no mandatory requirement for non-compliant area heaters to be returned.

Why were these heaters allowed to be sold if they are unsafe?

Until now these heaters were certified and approved for sale. Recently, NSW Fair Trading became aware that they did not comply with the Australian Standard and took measures to stop their continued sale.

Have these heaters caused injury or death?

There has been one reported fatality by carbon monoxide poisoning from from this type of heater in Victoria. There have been no reported incidents in NSW.

Can I sell my non-compliant area heater?

You are not allowed to sell a non-compliant area heater even as a second hand sale. Do not list you heater for sale even on an internet auction site.

What if I want to dispose of my non-compliant area heater?

You can contact your local council to find out where to dispose of your heater. Remove the LPG cylinder prior to disposal.

I live in another state, does this apply to me?

The prohibition order relates to the sale of non-compliant area heaters in NSW only.

How do I know what brands are affected?

There are numerous types and brands of area heaters currently in the marketplace. If you are uncertain if your model is affected you can contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or find more details on our website.

I still have a non-compliant area heater, what is the best way to use it in a safe manner?

Never use your heater inside of your home at any time. Only use it outdoors in an area not enclosed by walls, patio blinds or similar fixtures. Ensure there is adequate cross ventilation when in use. Also, make sure the heater is free from obstructions, combustible materials and that it is on a solid base or ground.

I have seen non-compliant area heaters for sale, how do I report this?

If you suspect an area heater is being offered for sale you can report it to Fair Trading on 13 32 20, email us at or lodge an online enquiry at our Contact us page.

Top of page

Get a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can access PDF versions of our information.