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Cooking safely with gas

Gas cookers and clearances

Gas is a clean and efficient way to cook.

However, it is important your kitchen complies with certain safety standards so you and your family are safe when using gas appliances. This includes ensuring your gas cookers and hotplates have adequate clearance from combustible surfaces, for example:

  • Range-hoods must be at least 600mm above the cooking appliance,
  • Exhaust fans must be 750mm above the appliance, and
  • Burners must have clearances of 200mm, unless the nearby wall or surface is suitably protected.

Your gasfitter can ensure your kitchen meets these standards.

Cooking with fats and oils

Be especially careful when cooking with oil or fat. Fats and cooking oils will ignite once they have reached a certain temperature.

Never leave cooking unattended even for a few moments.

It is one of the most common and preventable causes of domestic fires.

According to the MFB, in 2015 there were 1,565 preventable house fires in Melbourne resulting in the loss of five lives and causing almost $30 million property damage – 45 per cent of those fires started in the kitchen.

Never use water to put out fat and oil fires.

Water can cause a fire to spread rapidly and inflict horrific burns. If a fire starts, turn off the stove or cover the flame with the pot lid if it is safe to do so. Then use an appropriate fire extinguisher, such as a wet chemical extinguisher, or fire blanket to smother the flames.

Scalds can be serious.

Extensive scald injuries can be life threatening, especially in young people and the elderly. Most scald injuries that occur in the home are easily preventable. Always seek medical advice.

ESVs tips on cooking safely

  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Never get distracted. If you are called away, turn off the gas
  • Never allow a child to cook without adult supervision
  • Keep the flame from extending past the pot side
  • Turn pot handles away from the stove edge
  • Keep stoves and cook tops free of grease and fat build-up
  • Hang tea-towels and oven mitts away from the stove
  • Wear tight-fitting sleeves when cooking
  • Ensure the exhaust fan above the stove is clean and free of grease and fat build-up
  • Have a fire blanket and extinguisher easily accessible in the kitchen
  • Ensure smoke alarms are working
  • Have a tested fire escape plan
  • Never use cooking appliances as heaters
  • When cooking with gas, make sure the flame does not go out – gas can escape silently and invisibly.

Contact us

If you have any queries in relation to cooking safely with gas, please contact ESV on 03 9203 9700 or by email on info@energysafe.vic.gov.au.

If it is an emergency, dial 000 (triple zero) for fire, police and ambulance.