A new campaign by the WA gas safety regulator, Building and Energy, is urging Western Australians to have their gas heaters serviced.
The campaign emphasises the importance of regular servicing of gas appliances, which is recommended at least every 2 years, or annually if the equipment is more than 10 years old.
WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said faulty, poorly maintained or misused gas heaters could cause a build-up of potentially lethal carbon monoxide gas.
“Tragically, at least five deaths in Australia in the past decade have been linked to carbon monoxide, which is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it is invisible, odourless and tasteless so you may be unaware of the effects until it’s too late,” he said.
“This campaign features the ticking sound that many gas heaters make when they start up and asks the audience ‘Is your heater trying to tell you something?’. We hope this prompts people to think about when their gas heater was last serviced.
“They should contact a licensed gas fitter if it has been more than 2 years since the last service or if the heater is showing signs such as discolouration or difficulty relighting.”
Mr Abdoolakhan urged users of gas equipment to be aware of the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which range from flu-like symptoms to heart irregularities, vomiting, seizures and collapse.
“Seek medical attention immediately and try to get to the open air,” he said.
“It’s important to emphasise that gas appliances are safe if they are in good working order, used correctly and in a well-ventilated area. This can be achieved by following the safety advice outlined in our campaign.”
The campaign will run until mid-September.
Visit www.commerce.wa.gov.au/building-and-energy/your-gas-heater-safe for more information.