26 September 2023

Energy Safe campaign gives gas space

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Victorians are being urged to reduce the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes with Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) launching its annual gas space heater safety campaign.

Chief Executive of ESV, Leanne Hughson said ESV was using this year’s Be Sure campaign to highlight the particular risk to Victorians operating open flued gas space heaters in properties that had recently been renovated or weather sealed.

“Energy Safe’s Be Sure campaign, which calls for open flued gas space heaters to be serviced every two years, was launched following the 2017 death of Sonia Sofianopoulos who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in her home,” Ms Hughson said.

“Open flued gas space heaters are considered old technology, designed to draw air from the within the home for combustion,” she said.

“However, units that are not serviced or are faulty can cause carbon monoxide leakage created by a negative pressure environment, which occurs when operating bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans with little-to-no ventilation.”

Ms Hughson said the carbon monoxide leakage via open flued gas space heaters posed a serious risk to people, especially in situations where there was little ventilation.

She said the decision to ban the sale and supply of heaters was an important step, however those already using the appliances needed to ensure they remained safe.

“Open flued gas space heaters were never designed to operate safely without ventilation,” the ESV Chief Executive said.

“If you live in a renovated or weather sealed house with an open flued gas space heater, please get a qualified gasfitter to ensure carbon monoxide,” she said.

“Get your heater serviced at least once every two years.

“If you can, think about replacing your heater.”

Ms Hughson said there were many different options on the market that were more efficient and cost less to run, including room sealed gas space heaters.

Further information on carbon monoxide safety can be accessed at this PS News link.

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