Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is urging campers to ensure they are not using outdoor gas appliances inside tents and caravans this Easter long weekend. The four-day weekend, this year between Friday, 7 and Monday, 10 April, is an annual opportunity for Victorians to enjoy the great outdoors before the mercury drops.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable break, ESV is reminding campers to never use gas appliances designed for outdoor use, such as heaters, barbecues and gas cookers inside tents, caravans and campervans.
ESV CEO Leanne Hughson said outdoor gas appliances fuelled by Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), were ideal for cooking, heating, refrigeration and lighting.
“Outdoor gas appliances should never be taken indoors, and that includes inside tents, campers or caravans,” Ms Hughson said. “These appliances are unflued which means exhaust gases – including carbon monoxide – are released into the atmosphere. If they are used indoors, there is a very real risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“We urge campers to ensure they are using these appliances safely and as per the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid risk to the health of you and your family.”
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious and long term health conditions with symptoms similar to the flu, including headaches, tiredness, dizziness or nausea. In more severe cases, confusion, shortness of breath or chest pain can be symptoms. Very high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal.
ESV is also reminding campers to ensure their gas appliances and LPG cylinder connections are safely connected, protecting against gas leaks and the potential for fire or explosions.
ESV’s Know the Drill Before You Grill campaign educates LPG cylinder users to avoid risk by checking connections before igniting the appliance. This involves connecting the LPG cylinder or container to the appliance either directly or via a hose assembly, turning the gas on, and squirting soapy water on the connections.
If no bubbles appear, it’s safe to use. If bubbles appear, turn it off and re-check the connections and if using a hose assembly check the hose and its connections to ensure they do not leak. If bubbles continue to appear, turn the gas off and have the connection or hose assembly replaced.
ESV has led the introduction of Australian Standards, resulting in new appliance connections and cylinder valves that will not allow gas to flow unless the hose connection is screwed in adequately – even if the cylinder valve handle has been left on.
If the hose connection is disconnected and the cylinder valve handle has been left open, gas will not flow, reducing the risk of an explosion or fire. The new LCC27 appliance connection incorporates a black plastic nut which in the event of a fire at the cylinder connection will melt and stop gas from flowing from the cylinder valve.
The safest thing to do, when using an appliance with the new connection with a cylinder with the old style cylinder valve (i.e. no external thread), is to is swap the old cylinder for one featuring the new LCC27 cylinder valve with the course external thread at local hardware stores or service stations. ESV strongly discourages people from using adaptors to connect incompatible connections and valves as this increases likelihood of a gas leak.
Reviewed 29 March 2023