News & Events

Portable patio gas heaters are dangerous in enclosed areas

Master Plumbers warns all Victorians to be cautious using portable gas heaters at residential properties, due to the serious safety risks they pose when used inappropriately.

Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly said these heaters are intended for use outdoors but people using them in enclosed spaces were putting themselves and their families at risk of fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning. 

“With the emergence of covered outdoor areas, including kitchens, more people are using these heaters, which have no flues or chimneys to vent the poisonous gases,” Mr Daly said.

“Permanent, in situ gas heaters, have strict controls over where they are placed to ensure adequate ventilation and safe operation. Portable radiant and patio heaters, however, have no controls over where they are placed other than the warnings provided by the manufacturer and common sense.

“It is also a serious fire hazard to have a manually connecting LPG gas bottle in enclosed spaces.”

Stability is also an issue. Where a heater cannot be permanently fixed, care should be taken to select a location not susceptible to disturbance. Stability of unsecured heaters will reduce as the cylinder empties.

Master Plumbers reminds owners that these appliances require certification and should be checked regularly by a licensed gasfitter.

“Always read the manufacturers’ instructions that come with your portable gas heater and ensure you understand the limitations on where it can be used.  Under no circumstances should you use it inside the house or a similarly enclosed space. If you can’t find the instructions, look on the manufacturer’s website,” Mr Daly said.

For more information: http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/gas-technical-information-sheets/heaters-for-outdoor-use-including-public-places/