Caravan gas safety warning ahead of Easter holidays
With the Easter holidays fast approaching, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) and Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) are urging campers to make sure their caravans, campervans or camper trailers are safe to use.
The VBA and ESV are warning campers to make sure all gas connections and plumbing is safe to guard against gas leaks and the “silent killer” – carbon monoxide poisoning.
The VBA’s State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini said it is important to ensure vents are cleaned and not obstructed, as this may contribute to carbon monoxide inside the van because of poor ventilation.
“All compartments need to have ventilation to prevent excessive condensation, build-up of products of combustion, or other toxic conditions,” Mr Cialini said.
“Having proper ventilation makes sure your gas appliances and fluing system work well and maintains a safe caravan.”
Mr Cialini said owners should make sure they are dealing with a licensed plumber when undertaking gas safety tests, a compliance certificate must be provided for gas repair or alteration work on caravans.
VBA inspectors have noticed issues with caravans, such as gas bottles not properly secured before travelling and curtains located near cooktops.
Holidaymakers are advised to comply to all warning labels inside and outside the recreational vehicle.
ESV Acting General Manager Gas Safety and Technical Regulation Paul Harris warned campers not to use outdoor gas heaters and barbecues inside tents and caravans.
“There have been fatalities as a result of people operating heaters that are designed to be used outdoors,” Mr Harris said.
“Gas appliances should only be used as per manufacturer’s instructions. When used they create products of combustion and if you take them inside a camper or a tent, there is nowhere for these gasses to go.”
Mr Harris also reminded people cooking with barbecues to Know The Drill Before You Grill, checking all hoses, cylinders and connections at appliances for gas leaks with soapy water – bubbles will reveal potential leak points.