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.

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.

How do I know if a gas appliance is safe to use?

Any gas appliance you buy must be certified by an industry body prior to sale and should carry a certification label.

Appliances 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.

The testing is carried out by laboratories that have been accredited by a Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) affiliated body.

Labels to look for:



labels

For more detailed information, please visit the page of the relevant regulator for your state.

Who can fit or repair my gas appliances?

Always use a licenced gasfitter and make sure you receive a compliance certificate once the job is done. A licenced gasfitters can only install certified products.

Your state’s regulator can help you find a licenced gasfitter.



State State Regulator Phone Number
ACT  ACT Planning and Land Authority  (02) 6207 1923
NSW  NSW Fair Trading   13 32 20
 QLD  Building Services Authority  1300 272 272
 SA Consumer and Business services   131 882
 VIC Energy Safe Victoria  1800 815 721
 WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety   (08) 6251 2000
How do I know if an appliance uses natural gas?

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.

Safety with gas heaters

Faulty gas heaters can release carbon-monoxide, an odourless gas that can be fatal or cause chronic illness that may go undiagnosed. To avoid this danger, you should have your gas heater serviced regularly.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can include:

  • tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • headaches
  • nausea and vomiting
  • weakness and sleepiness

Extreme cases can lead to confusion, loss of consciousness or death.

To help with a diagnosis, let your medical professional know if you feel better when in the fresh air or if other members of the house — including pets — have similar symptoms. Certain people may be more susceptible, including the elderly, children, unborn babies and people with heart disease and anaemia.

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, check with the appliance retailer or a licensed gasfitter to make sure they’re suitable for your home.