Gas pool and spa heater safety warning

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01/12/2011

NSW Fair Trading has issued a safety alert following a Coroner’s report into the death of a young security guard who died from carbon monoxide poisoning from an enclosed gas pool heater in a strata unit block.

The guard was patrolling a gym area with an unflued gas pool heater which was designed for external use. The heater had been enclosed, leaving it without adequate ventilation. As a result, carbon monoxide was trapped and travelled into an area where the guard was located.

Fair Trading is reminding all property managers, builders and gas fitters of the need to ensure adequate ventilation of gas pool and spa heaters.

Gas needs fresh air to burn cleanly and to get rid of dangerous exhaust fumes and surplus heat. Without sufficient ventilation, gas heaters can produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide can overcome people without warning and kill.

If you have concerns about the safety of gas heaters on your property, you should close down the gas heater immediately and contact a licensed gas fitter to arrange an inspection.

Safety steps

  • NEVER enclose gas pool and spa heaters designed for outdoor use
  • NEVER allow a ventilation source to a flued appliance to be closed eg. via a roller door
  • NEVER allow exhaust fans or ducts to cause back draught to the gas appliance
  • ALWAYS ensure that flues terminate outside away from windows
  • ALWAYS clear dust and debris from inside the appliance and flue after construction
  • ALWAYS ensure there is ventilation at both high and low positions for better air circulation
  • ALWAYS have your gas pool and spa heaters serviced once a year by a licensed gas fitter.

For more information, go to the NSW Fair Trading website about Gas pool and spa heater safety.

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