Natural gas is an efficient way to heat our homes and cook our food. But this relies on good maintenance and solid common sense.

If you suspect a major gas leak, or need medical assistance, call 000

What you need to know about using natural gas

What do I do if I smell gas in my house?

If you think there could be a gas leak in your home, do not turn on lights or electric appliances, or use landline or mobile phones. Never use a flame to look for a gas leak.

Next:

1. Open the doors and windows.
2. Check to see if any gas cooker burners have been left on. If so, turn the burner knob off and do not use any appliance again until the smell has cleared.
3. Look for any gas pilot lights that may have gone out, then turn off the appliance or isolation valve.

If the cause of the smell doesn’t seem to be your stove or other appliances, turn off the gas at the meter, and switch off the electricity at the fuse box. From outside your property, call your licensed gasfitter, or an AGL accredited tradesperson on 131 766.

How do I use natural gas safely?

It's important to keep your gas appliances clean (that means the cooktop or hotplate too!), and well maintained. Pay attention to service records, and only have work done by a licensed professional. Try this simple quick check: when your natural gas appliance is properly adjusted, the flame burns blue. If the flame continuously burns yellow, it's time to get it serviced by a licensed gasfitter.

If you experience headaches, drowsiness, sore eyes or throat when using a gas appliance, turn it off immediately and ventilate the area. Do not use the appliance again until it has been checked by a licensed gasfitter.

What do I need to know before I buy an appliance that uses natural gas?

Unflued, that is, without a chimney, gas heaters need proper permanent ventilation and can only be used in rooms that are a certain size. So before you buy, it’s important to check with the appliance retailer or a licensed gasfitter that they are suitable for your home.

Whether you are buying new or second-hand gas appliances or having any gas service or maintenance work carried out, you should always use a licensed gasfitter or the manufacturer’s technician. Licensed gasfitters must carry registration cards. After completing any work for you, they must provide you with a ‘Certificate of Compliance’. All installations including gas piping work must always be carried out by a licensed gasfitter.

How do I know if an appliance uses natural gas?

When buying appliances, they must meet the approved standards of the Australian Gas Association (AGA) or Standards Australia International Global. Appliances must carry a compliance plate with an AGA approval number. This confirms they are designed to run specifically on natural gas. If you buy a second-hand gas appliance, always check the compliance plate and have it installed by a licensed gasfitter.

Never connect liquid petroleum or LP gas to a natural gas appliance, unless it’s been converted by a licensed gasfitter or the appliance manufacturer. Likewise, only use your gas appliances for the jobs they're designed to do. It's dangerous to use a gas stove to heat a room, or to try to cook on a heater.