With days becoming shorter and winter’s chill beginning to kick in, many of us are starting to dust off our heaters and get them ready for the cooler months ahead. But if it’s a gas heater, how can you be absolutely certain it’s safe?
April 29 marked the start of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, an annual national event run by the Chase and Tyler Foundation to raise awareness of fuel burning appliance safety.
Did you know you could be putting your health and the health of your family at risk when turning on a gas heater that hasn’t been serviced in accordance with recommended guidelines?
In May 2010, Vanessa Robinson, a single mother of two boys, Chase, 8, and Tyler, 6, woke to every parent’s worst nightmare. Her boys had died while they slept alongside their mother in her bed as a result of a silent, odourless killer – carbon monoxide. The cause of the poisoning was a leak from the gas heater at the other end of the house they were renting, which had not been serviced or maintained. Vanessa almost lost her life as well and spent several months in hospital to recover. She founded the Chase and Tyler Foundation in 2011 to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide.
It is recommended that all gas heaters be serviced every two years by a qualified gas fitter. If the heater is more than ten years old, it should be serviced annually. You can check the date of the last service by viewing the service sticker attached to the appliance. Adequate ventilation is also important. If you have a gas heater in your home or a rental property you own, click here for more detail. A must read.
National safety alert on 4 gas heaters
This year’s Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week coincides with a national safety alert on four gas heater models following a tragic death from carbon monoxide poisoning in Victoria.
The four models in question all failed safety tests, prompting the national alert. They are all open-flued gas space heaters. Click here to learn which models pose a risk and what to do if you have one.