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Living Safely with Gas

Here is some important safety information about the use of gas in your home. Gas is instant, reliable and safe but it does need to be used with respect. If you are not able to find the information you need in this section then please contact our Customer Service team on 0800 785 733.

Keeping your Children Safe with Gas

Here are some tips to help keep your children safe around gas:

  • Do not let children play with flammable materials near gas appliances.
  • If you have a gas leak it will smell like rotten eggs. Teach your children to recognise this smell and let you know if they can smell it.
  • Keep children and pets away from open flames and away from gas appliances (especially the water heater).
  • If you have young children who like to play in the kitchen, get into the habit of keeping pot handles turned inwards.
  • Reduce the risk of scalding from hot water by setting your water heater temperature to no more than 55°C.
  • Make sure children are aware they should not play around or try to move a gas appliance. The piping that leads gas to your appliance may get damaged or come loose.
  • Encourage safe behaviour around a gas stove by rolling up your sleeves, keeping tea towels and other flammable items away from the flame.

Check before you dig

Natural gas pipelines run under our streets, footpaths, backyards and into our homes. The pipelines are strong but if you dig into them they can be damaged and may start a gas leak. If you are planning on doing some digging, such as building a new home, installing a sprinkler system or planting a tree make sure you call us on 0800 785 733. We will help you to make sure it is safe to go ahead!

LPG Installation

You should always get a licensed gasfitter to install your gas appliances or make any changes to your gas supply. A licensed gasfitter will make sure your gas appliance or installation is connected correctly and safely. A Gasfitting Certificate is required for all new gas installations and most alterations to existing installations in your home. You can ask for a Gasfitting Certificate from the person who has carried out the work on your home.

All LPG cylinder installations must meet the requirements of the Gas (Safety and Measurement) Regulations 2010. For more information refer to the LPG Association’s Code of Practice number 2 “Installation and maintenance of twin 45kg LPG cylinder systems” (www.lpga.co.nz).

There are very strict regulations governing the ways that bottled gas can be stored and handled. When cylinder are refilled at the filling stations they are tested for faults. The cylinders are also leak tested when they are reconnected to your house.

Gas Leaks

You will know if you have a gas leak because you will be able to smell it. It is a legal requirement to odourise gas with a strong pungent rotten egg smell so you can easily detect a leakage.

Always use a Licensed Gasfitter

It is a legal requirement that anyone carrying out work on gas installations and appliances in your home must be a licensed gasfitter. To make sure your gasfitter is licensed to do the work, you can ask to see their card issued by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board. Alternatively, you can check by visiting www.pgdb.co.nz.

Get a certificate after you have work done

Get a Gas Certification Certificate

When any gas fitting work is carried out at your home, it is a legal requirement that the gasfitter completes a “Gas Certification Certificate”. This details the work undertaken and that it has been completed in accordance with the regulatory requirements, and that your system and appliances have been tested and are safe. The gasfitter should leave a copy of the certificate with you.

If you have had work completed and do not hold this certificate, you are entitled to request this from your gasfitter who is required by regulation to give this to you.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that you cannot smell or see. Carbon monoxide can be produced if you burn natural gas with insufficient oxygen.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you breathe in carbon monoxide, it enters your bloodstream and deprives oxygen from your blood cells. The early effects of carbon monoxide poisoning could include a headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, feeling like you have the flu and confusion. Severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. If you believe you or someone in your home has carbon monoxide poisoning:

Leave the house straight away → Visit your local doctor or hospital → Call 111 for Emergency Services

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

  • Make sure you maintain and inspect all of your gas heating systems and any fuel burning appliances on an annual basis.
  • Check vents, flue pipes and chimneys for corrosion or blockages.
  • Never run your car in an enclosed space – like a garage.
  • Install at least one smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home and near bedrooms.
  • Don't use a gas kitchen oven or dryer to heat your home.
  • Never operate unvented gas burning appliances in a closed room or in a room where you are sleeping.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

A carbon monoxide alarm detects the presence of carbon monoxide in the air. There are a number of stores which sell these alarms. This example is from Bunnings. Ask your gasfitter where you might get one locally.

More Safety Information

If you would like some more information about living safely with gas in your home, the Energy Safety (ES) in association with the Gas Association of New Zealand, the LPG Association and the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drain Layers Board, has published a consumer brochure called Living Safely with Gas.

Click here to download the brochure as a PDF.