Ensure your gas is safe

2016-05-25 06:00
Keep children and pets away from gas heaters — those tiny fingers or paws might just wander into the wrong place. PHOTO: supplied

Keep children and pets away from gas heaters — those tiny fingers or paws might just wander into the wrong place. PHOTO: supplied

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AT this time of the year when we start to notice the chill in the air, many of us reach for the ignition switch on our gas heaters.

It is essential, however, first to make sure we know the safety tips and that our gas heaters are safe to use.

Always follow manufacturer guidelines carefully to avoid incidents like carbon-monoxide poisoning and household fires.

Antonio Vannucci-Smit, owner of Ionic Gas Plumbing Electrical, says that as with all gas appliances, it is recommended that the heater is serviced regularly­ by a qualified gas technician, in line with the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Once your gas heater is securely connected to your gas bottle and ready for use, it is important to make sure that it is operated safely.

- Property24.

Vannucci-Smit shares pointers that homeowners should consider when using gas heaters this winter

• Always turn your heater off before going to bed or leaving your property.

• Make sure all the components, such as the heater, regulator and hose connectors of your unit, are well-maintained.

• Do not use aerosols or flammable cleaning liquids or sprays in close proximity to the heater.

• Avoid sitting or standing too close to your heater; it might feel nice and toasty, but gas burns are no joke.

• Always ensure that the room in use is well ventilated. If it becomes stuffy, open windows and doors to allow fresh air in immediately.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas that can go completely unnoticed yet cause serious illness or, in severe cases, death due to poisoning.

• Always follow manufacturer guidelines carefully.

• Keep children and pets away from gas heaters — those tiny fingers or paws might just wander into the wrong place.

• Never place clothes or other items like towels over your heater.

We have all been guilty of this at one time or another, whether it is heating up a towel while showering or socks before going to bed.

Remember that this is dangerous as a fire can start without anyone noticing.

• Do not move your unit while it is in use. First turn it off and wait for it to cool down a little before moving it around.

• Keep gas heaters at least one metre away from flammable objects, including furniture, curtains, books and boxes

What to do if you smell gas

• When you smell gas, do not light flames or create sparks — this includes lighting a cigarette.

• Don’t operate light switches, appliances or phones.

• Leave the area with the doors and windows wide open.

• Do not use an electrical fan to try to blow away any leaking gas.

• Shut off the gas at the gas bottle valve by turning it clockwise.

• Don’t turn it back on until it has been checked by a qualified gas technician.

• Do not return inside your home until the gas has had time to dissipate.

• Remember that LPG is heavier than air and can accumulate in low areas.

• Get your system checked by your gas installer.

Interesting fact

Natural gas is odourless, so energy companies add the smell of rotten eggs (mercaptan) to help homeowners detect it. This is also an effective way to detect a gas leak at home.

Always remember that if you service your gas heater or installation regularly and use it correctly, it should be safe and economical to use.

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