Stay safe around gas this summer
21 December 2021
Summer is around the corner and for many of us that means enjoying a BBQ with friends, camping or heading off on holiday in a caravan or campervan.
Here are some checks Master Plumbers recommends to ensure a safe and happy holiday season when it comes to the use of LPG gas.
Gas safety with BBQs
It may have been a while since you turned on your gas BBQ, so now is a good time to make sure everything is working correctly before you are ready to cook.
First check that your 9kg cylinder has a current test date stamped on the neck. LPG cylinders need to be tested every 10 years. Your local refilling station can help.
When bringing a new cylinder home, secure it in your vehicle—never let it roll around. Always transport and store cylinders upright.
Next, check that all hoses and valves are fully secured and not split or leaking. Hoses should be kept gently curved to prevent kinks and damage.
Use soapy water (one part dishwash liquid to four parts water) to check for a leak in the connection between the gas bottle and fuel line by following these steps.
With the bottle connected to the BBQ:
- turn all the burner knobs off
- turn your gas bottle on
- brush or spray the soapy solution on all connections where the pipe connects to the BBQ and the bottle.
If you see bubbles, there’s probably a leak or the connection isn’t properly sealed. Turn off the gas and phone an authorised gasfitter to check and repair. Never attempt to repair gas appliances yourself.
Never use a match to check for leaks!
Finally, make sure your BBQ is at least a metre away from other objects.
Gas safety when camping
If you are heading out camping, remember never to use outdoor gas appliances in enclosed spaces, and ensure camping cookers are used correctly and on stable ground.
Don’t use appliances if they are malfunctioning, don’t appear to be working correctly or are giving off a smell.
Maintain your appliances to keep them in good working order.
Gas safety in caravans and campervans
The LPG cylinder compartment in your caravan or camper van must be sealed from the inside and vented to the outside. Cylinder valves must be closed when you’re travelling and make sure LPG appliances are turned off before petrol refuelling.
When using your gas appliance, always ensure adequate ventilation openings are clear and, if in doubt, open a window or door.
Turn off the appliance if you begin to suffer a headache or feel sick while using it, as this could be a sign of carbon monoxide. Have the appliance checked by an authorised gasfitter.
If you smell gas, turn off all appliances and the cylinder valve if it’s safe to do so, ventilate your caravan and get people out of the area.
Don’t use your mobile phone or any electrical appliances and light switches as these can be ignition sources.
Contact an authorised gasfitter to check the installation or call 111 in an emergency (remember not to use your phone near the caravan).
For all gas appliance installation, maintenance and servicing, contact a Master Gasfitter in your area: https://www.masterplumbers.org.nz/homeowner-info/