By Vesh Arumugam
A national safety alert has been issued for four open-flued gas heaters that, under certain circumstances, may produce too much carbon monoxide – potentially causing serious health risks to users.
Building and Energy (formerly known as EnergySafety) is urging owners of these gas heaters to stop using them immediately.
The appliances are Regency i31 (purchased after 1 January 2010) supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd; Regency F38 and FG38 (purchased after 1 January 2006) supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd, only the F38/FG38 natural gas models are affected; Nectre 2000 (manufactured from 2007) supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd; and Real Flame Pyrotech (manufactured from 2012) also supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd.
Director of Energy Safety Ken Bowron said that testing of open-flued gas space heaters was instigated after a 2017 fatality in Victoria, linked to a Vulcan Heritage open-flued gas space heater, and the subsequent coronial inquest.
“These four models all failed the safety tests. The tests showed that under certain circumstances these heaters produce too much carbon monoxide, which can potentially cause serious health risks.
“People with these gas heaters in their homes should stop using them immediately and contact the supplier,” he said.
Consumers with the Regency i31, F38 or FG38 should contact Fireplace Products Australia on email@example.com or phone 1800 860 660.
Consumers with the Real Flame Pyrotech or the Nectre 2000 should contact Glen Dimplex Australia on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 014 389.
The supplier will organise for a qualified gas fitter to carry out a safety check on your heater and will meet the costs of modifications, if required, to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Owners may have to cover some costs if poor maintenance or other issues unrelated to the modification are identified.
If the heater is spilling dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide or other exhaust gases, it may have to be disconnected until it can be repaired or replaced.
Users need to ensure that all gas appliances are serviced at least every two years by a qualified gas fitter.
If the appliance is more than 10 years old, it is recommended that it is serviced annually to ensure they operate safely and efficiently.