26 September 2023

VBA warns campers to beware ‘silent killer’

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The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is warning campers to guard against gas leaks and the “silent killer” – carbon monoxide poisoning – before hitting the road for a weekend away.

State Building Surveyor at VBA, Andrew Cialini said people needed to make sure their caravans, campervans or camper trailers were safe and ready to use.

“It is important to ensure vents are cleaned and not obstructed, as this may contribute to carbon monoxide inside the van because of poor ventilation,” Mr Cialini said.

“Owners should make sure they are dealing with a licensed plumber when undertaking gas safety tests.”

He advised owners to add gas safety checks to their list of holiday preparations and site setup.

“All compartments need to have ventilation to prevent excessive condensation, build-up of products of combustion, or other toxic conditions,” the State Building Surveyor said.

“Having proper ventilation makes sure your gas appliances and fluing system work well and maintains a safe caravan,” he said.

“If you’re going away for the weekend, don’t underestimate the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning – a silent killer that can quickly turn a much-needed getaway into a family tragedy.”

Mr Cialini said campers should check all hoses, cylinders and connections at appliances for gas leaks with soapy water, “bubbles will reveal potential leak points.”

“Road travel can loosen gas connections so make sure to check these again on arrival,” he said.

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