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27 March 2019
Safety warning on open flued gas space heaters
NSW Fair Trading has issued a public warning to consumers who own any of the following four identified heater models:
- Regency i31 supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd
- Regency F38 and FG38 supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd and the F38 and FG38 models branded and supplied by Masport prior to 2006 (excluding LP models)
- Real Flame Pyrotech (manufactured from 2012) supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd
- Nectre 2000 (manufactured from 2007) supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd.
Consumers are warned not to use the heaters until they have registered with the supplier for the heaters to be tested and modified by a licensed gas fitter.
What is the safety issue?
All four models failed safety tests, brought about after the blanket testing of open flued gas space heaters organised by Energy Safe Victoria in response to the tragic death of an individual linked to a Vulcan Heritage open flued gas space heater and a subsequent Coronial Inquest in Victoria.
Due to the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning for users, it is essential for consumers who own the above-mentioned heaters to register with the supplier and have the heater tested and modified by a licensed gas fitter.
What do I need to do?
If you have one of these open flued gas space heaters, do not use it until after you have contacted the relevant supplier and had it inspected by a licensed gas fitter.
Consumers with the Regency i31, Regency F38/FG38 or Masport F38/FG38 heater models should contact Fireplace Products Australia at email@example.com or call 1800 860 660.
Consumers with the Real Flame Pyrotech or Nectre 2000 should contact Glen Dimplex Australia at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 014 389.
Not all of these model heaters are a safety concern. It depends on the date they were made or supplied. Fireplace Products Australia or Glen Dimplex Australia will tell you if your heater needs to be checked.
What can I expect from the supplier?
After you register with the supplier, the supplier will send out a licensed gas fitter to inspect your heater.
The modification will be carried out at the supplier’s expense. Where there are no other issues affecting performance, the modification will make the heater safe.
If the gas fitter identifies other faults (e.g. installation faults), you (or the person who is the property owner) may be responsible for the cost of these repairs. In this case, the gas fitter will discuss options with you.
Am I in danger?
If you have one of these heaters, do not use it until it can be tested by a licensed gas fitter and found safe for use.
The circumstances that can lead to carbon monoxide entering a building are complex. Among the contributing factors are well-sealed energy efficient houses and the operation of exhaust fans and kitchen range hoods.
Simply, if the house is well sealed (with little ventilation) and the heater is running at the same time as an exhaust fan (e.g. a kitchen range hood or a bathroom fan), carbon monoxide can be drawn into living areas.
How did these faults come to Fair Trading’s attention?
Following a tragic fatality from carbon monoxide poisoning connected to a Vulcan Heritage open flued gas space heater, and a subsequent Coronial Inquest, Energy Safe Victoria required certification bodies to test all open flued gas space heaters that were certified for sale at that time.
The testing revealed a range of non-compliances with seven models of open flued heater. Four of the seven identified models presented safety concerns and are now subject to a safety alert in Victoria and a public warning in NSW.