The Queensland Gas Association (QGA) has launched a new campaign using the following signage to promote awareness and authenticity of gas work to the Australian public. The new QGA signs display the gas symbol with a cross out and the words “gas work should only be conducted by a licensed gas fitter”. This is due to the uprise of many circumstances where Australians are not abiding by the law and continue to practice gas work unlicensed, often at home, and occasionally in the workplace. These signs are being placed in the do-it-yourself (DIY) hardware stores, Elgas and throughout Bizmatrix training facilities in Brisbane and Gladstone to promote gas safety.
Queensland Gas Association and Bizmatrix want to spread the message that if you are not qualified or licensed in gas work, it is not worth the risk of doing your own repairs. It is not only illegal, but also extremely dangerous with many accidental risks associated, one being carbon monoxide poisoning – a silent killer. An example and extremely sad story of this, of a young women from the UK who died in her shower due to unsafe gas work installation resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning– this is a risk that you should not be willing to take (reference). Another sad story was in Victoria, Australia where a family’s gas heater had not been regularly checked (every 2 years) to ensure safe working, and two boys died from carbon monoxide poisoning (reference 1). In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase of accidents in gas and electricaal which is believed to be due to the promotion of many DIY programs on television. This is not the attitude we recommend the public to take on board, due to the extremely high risks associated with gas and electrical work. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt about the safety or functionality of an appliance in your home or workplace, always be sure to contact a licensed gas fitter.
What must you get your gas fitter to do?
Full licensed gas fitters can perform appliance installation, repairs and maintenance work. Other areas of work include gas bottle installation including repairs and associated pipe work. Ask your gas fitter to fit your home with CO alarms, as a means to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
In some cases, you may need to ask the gas fitter if he/she does the specific kind of gas installation that you need, such as a caravan appliances, gas fireplace or industrial appliances. As there are a few different types of gas fitters, such as restricted gas fitters for Type A domestic and commercial appliances, full gas fitter for Type A and then further licensing required for Type B Industrial appliances. When contacting your gas fitter, be sure to specify what appliance needs work on, so they can determine if it falls under the area they are qualified in (reference 2).
In attempt to combat unsafe gas work, Queensland Gas Association’s new ‘Don’t do DYI’ gas stickers and signs are being supplied free to all their members and various large retailers and gas companies. If you are interested in learning more about this campaign contact Bizmatrix or QGA for more information.