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Gas information sheet 61: Clearances around high energy commercial catering equipment

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This gas information sheet provides information about the required clearances around high energy commercial catering equipment. Several commercial kitchen fires have caused concerns about the effectiveness of Appendix C of AS/NZS 5601.1 for certain types of commercial catering equipment. The results of independent testing also found that not all fire-resistant materials used in gas installations met the level of thermal protection required by the Australian standard.

As a result, all high energy gas appliances (for example, brat pans, target tops, noodle cookers, and waterless pot steamers) must now be installed with a minimum 50 millimetre clearance from an adjacent surface when that appliance:

  • has no thermostatic control
  • will be used for extended periods of time
  • discharges its flue products near or next to a wall containing a combustible material.

ESV has also worked with industry to ensure that only products with the correct thermal characteristics are being used for the purpose of protecting combustible materials behind commercial catering equipment.

Condition of Acceptance

Pursuant to Section 73 of the Gas Safety Act, ESV’s Condition of Acceptance for all gas applications involving high energy appliances that meet these conditions will state the following:

  • the appliance must be installed to meet the manufacturers requirements for clearances from combustible surfaces, or
  • the appliance installed adjacent to a combustible surface protected in accordance with Appendix C of AS/NZS 5601.1 must have a minimum clearance of 50 mm from the appliance to the adjacent surface, and a method of ensuring this clearance is maintained must be provided in the gas installation.

Further information

For further information contact Gas Safety Technical Information on 1800 652 563 and select option 3 or email