Beware carbon monoxide – A silent killer

Beware carbon monoxide – A silent killer – Do you use a gas heater?

Gas heaters can be deadly if not maintained properly. If gas heaters are faulty or poorly maintained they can leak carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas resulting from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuels.

Carbon monoxide spillage can be lethal. It can cause death or chronic illness.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in any home or building with gas heating appliances, including newer ones. Dirty, old and unserviced heaters operating in a sealed environment will increase the risk of carbon monoxide spillage and smaller, poorly ventilated dwellings are at a greater risk.

What you need to know – As winter approaches, it is crucial to understand the importance of servicing your gas appliances, the risks around carbon monoxide and the difference between open flue and room sealed heaters.

Find more information and tips on Heating your home with gas.

How CO poisoning devastated one Victorian family

In May 2010, Vanessa and Scott Robinson lost their two boys Chase and Tyler aged 8 and 10, as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in their Mooroopna home. Now, each year in May, ‘Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week’ launched by the Foundation and supported by ESV’s Cold Feet campaign aims to raise awareness of the deadly affects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

ESV continues to work with Vanessa Robinson and The Chase and Tyler Foundation to raise awareness of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty gas heaters.

Vanessa Robinson and ESV

Vanessa recently sat with ESV to discuss the dangers around carbon monoxide, what you can do to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and working with Energy Safe Victoria. Watch the full video below.

Short clips of Vanessa’s video are also available to share on our YouTube channel.

Get a gasfitter to check your heater

All types of gas heaters should be serviced a minimum of every two years by a registered gasfitter and tested for CO spillage.

Keep your family safe this winter by arranging a gas heater service today with a qualified gasfitter. Before you book, ask the gasfitter if they have the right equipment to test for carbon monoxide leakage. Only use a registered or licensed gas fitter who has completed the Master Plumbers CO training course.

Open-flued heaters are the most vulnerable type of heaters but all heaters must be serviced. This includes all central heating units, wall units, space heaters and gas log fires. If you have an open-flued gas heater, it is imperative you have it serviced as soon as possible and at the next opportunity, replace it with a closed or room seal gas heater or split system. ESV has issued a safety alert on Vulcan Heritage / Pyrox Heritage gas space heaters or read more below. If you are not sure if your heater is open-flued, contact the manufacturer or check with the person who services your heater.

Plumbers and gasfitters can be found on the VBA’s website, by Googling and many advertise in local papers.

For more information, click here to download a brochure.

Safety alert – Heritage gas space heater

ESV has issued a safety alert on Vulcan Heritage / Pyrox Heritage gas space heaters.

All Victorians with a Vulcan Heritage or a Pyrox Heritage gas space heater in their home need to get them checked by a qualified gasfitter immediately.

For people living in DHHS housing

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has a program in place to have all Vulcan Heritage gas space heaters or Pyrox Heritage gas space heater in their properties tested.

Phone DHHS on 1800 148 426 for more information.

For private homes

Contact the manufacturer – Climate Technologies – to arrange for a CO spillage test of the heater and the installation environment by a qualified gasfitter (to be appointed by Climate Technologies).

Phone Climate Technologies on (03) 8795 2462 for more information.

Don’t get cold feet this winter Our ‘Cold Feet’ campaign is designed to help Victorians understand the effects of, and avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from their gas heaters. Watch our campaign video below.