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Gas information sheet 16: Gas safety shut-off valves in fire extinguishing systems

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Scope and Application

This information sheet sets out the requirements for gas safety shut-off systems which are to be connected to fire extinguishing systems as described in AS/NZS 5601, Gas Installations, Clause 6.5, or other emergency alarm systems.

The purpose of a safety shut-off system is to automatically shut off the gas supply to the premises, or a selected part of the premises such as a commercial kitchen, when the fire extinguishing system or other emergency alarm is activated.

The intent of this information is to safeguard against the possibility of the escape of un-burnt gas where a burner flame has been extinguished and gas supply being restored in situations where one or more appliances could still be turned on. Such situations could lead to serious incidents where appliances or premises have been left unattended.

Requirement

Where a gas supply can be automatically shut off by the activation of a fire protection system or emergency alarm, the safety shut-off system must be of a type which requires pressure proving of the downstream installation prior to the restoration of the gas supply.

System design

Safety shut-off systems may be purchased as a package from a gas control supplier, or individually designed. Components must be certified by the Australian Gas Association, SAI Global or otherwise acceptable to Energy Safe Victoria.

Areas not readily accessible

Where there are areas of a building that are not readily accessible, such as private apartments, individual manual shut-off valves are to be installed to ensure isolation prior to supply being restored.

Manual shut-off valves are to be installed in an accessible location adjacent to each selected area or apartment.

Electrical circuit connection It is advisable to connect the system to an appropriate circuit so that nuisance shut-offs will be minimised, especially where multiple residential premises such as apartments are involved.

Consideration should be given to wiring the system into a sprinkler system pump circuit rather than an alarm circuit.

Loss of power supply

Avoid situations where the safety shut-off valve would automatically close on failure of power supply to the premises. Even a power failure of very short duration could result in unnecessary gas shut-off.

Locating the shut-off valve

The location of the automatic shut-off valve should be carefully considered to provide adequate protection without causing unnecessary outage.

Requirements for signs

Signs indicating the requirements for resetting the system should be clearly displayed. It may be advisable to include contact details of any person or company contracted to restore supply. Where a manual shut-off valve is not clearly visible, a sign should indicate its location.

Reset switch

The reset switch should be key-operated or located in an area not readily accessible to the public.

Responsibility for resetting the system

Responsibility for resetting the system and restoring supply rests with the building owner or occupier. It is not a matter for the gas distribution or retail company.

The person restoring supply should be familiar with the extent of the gas installation and ensure that all manually operated appliances are turned off.

If further information is required, please phone the Gas Safety Technical Information Line on
1800 652 563.