We use gas appliances on a daily basis with cooking, space heating, camp lighting and BBQs, but their safety should never be taken for granted.
Consumer safety responsibilities
You are required to:
- maintain their gas installations in safe working order
- report any serious gas accident to NSW Fair Trading. An accident is classified as serious when a person:
- suffers permanent disability
- is hospitalised
- receives medical treatment, or
- is unable to attend work for any period of time.
Please include information on where, when and what happened, and provide contact details for Fair Trading to get back in touch with you. An accident can be reported to Fair Trading in the following manner.
Electrical & Gas Unit
NSW Fair Trading
PO Box 972
PARRAMATTA NSW 2124
Phone: 13 32 20
These requirements are covered by the Gas Supply (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2012.
All gas appliances offered for sale must be:
- approved by a certifier accredited by NSW Fair Trading, and
- marked with an Australian recognised certification label.
When buying a gas appliance, make sure you ask the salesperson to show you the approval label - see below for examples.
Images of approval labels
What to avoid
Gas appliances for sale without an attached recognised approval label might be unsafe. For your safety, do not buy an unlabelled appliance. Buyers should also be aware that overseas approvals of gas equipment are not recognised in Australia.
Any person who offers to supply or supplies a non-compliant or unapproved gas appliance risks a maximum penalty of $11,000 for a corporation or $2,750 for an individual.
Always treat any gas leak as a potential lethal risk. If you smell gas in your property:
- exit the building immediately, call 000 and ask for the NSW Fire Service
- if safe to do so, turn off the gas at your gas meter or cylinder
- turn off all appliances (including electrical) and pilot lights
- open all doors and windows for ventilation – only if safe to do so
- extinguish all naked flames and ensure cigarettes are not lit
- contact a licensed gasfitter
- contact your gas supplier, their phone number can be found on your gas bill.
LP gas safety alert
It’s absolutely essential that you’re aware of the safety issues surrounding all LP gas cylinders, including small cylinders. LP gas is widely used for barbecues and camping. It’s heavier than air, so it will accumulate in low areas rather than dissipate. It can generate an explosive mixture with air if the cylinder or attached equipment leaks.
Explosions and fires have occurred when cylinders of LP gas (propane and butane) or acetylene have been carried or left in closed vehicles, such as vans or cars. Spark sources in a car’s electrical components like remote locking systems, electric motors (starter motor, wipers, aerial), ignition systems, radios and sound systems, cigarette lighters, and possibly light switches can ignite the flammable gas mixture. Lighting a cigarette in a vehicle which is carrying flammable gas may also ignite the mixture.
You must make sure that LP gas cylinders are transported in the upright position and are appropriately and firmly secured.
Filling LPG cylinders
Refillable gas cylinders can only be reused if they have a current, legible test mark of a certified gas cylinder test station no more than 10 years old. If a gas filling station, as part of a cylinder exchange, accepts any cylinder that is not appropriately marked, they will have to either:
- ensure the cylinder is inspected and test station-marked in accordance with the appropriate Australian standard before filling or refilling, or
- dispose of the cylinder.
Purchasing a new or used refillable cylinder
Before purchasing a new or used refillable LP gas cylinder, ask the retailer to show you the current legible test mark and confirm that the cylinder can be legally filled in NSW.
If there is no current legible test mark, the cylinder may not be safe to fill and without the test mark cannot be legally filled in NSW. If you decide to purchase a cylinder without a current, legible test mark, the cylinder will need to be inspected by a certified gas cylinder test station and stamped with a test mark prior to filling. The test station may charge a fee for inspection and stamping.