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ESV at forefront of gas cylinder safety

1 November 2018

Energy Safe Victoria has been at the forefront of efforts to introduce new Australian Standards to mandate the use of safety valves on LP gas cylinders, as recommended by the Victorian Coroner.

Working with other Australian jurisdictions, agreement has been reached to amend relevant Australian Standards to ensure valves on leisure gas cylinders (smaller than 45kg cylinders). Its anticipated that change will take place by 1st January, 2020. There will be a 10-year transition period as the estimated 12 – 15 million old gas cylinders across Australia are phased out.

Safety valves or Quick Closing Coupling (QCC) valves essentially only release gas when they are attached to a gas connection, such as a barbecue hose assembly. This means that if a disconnected gas cylinder is accidentally left open, gas will not escape.

The Coroner found that leaking gas from partly open LP gas cylinders was a major cause for an explosion in a van that killed a 24-year-old Footscray man in December 2015.

According to the Coroner’s findings, metal objects resting on uncovered batteries in the back of the van caused arcing which ignited the leaked gas. Three LPG 8.5kg cylinders were found by investigators to be partly turned on.

QCC valves already exist in New Zealand and the USA, mainly because of the widespread use in those countries of indoor gas appliances such, as cabinet heaters, that are connected to an LP gas cylinder. Cabinet heaters are prohibited in Australia.

ESV has long campaigned for Victorians to understand the importance of gas cylinder safety through its BBQ awareness marketing campaign. The latest iteration of the campaign; Know the Drill Before You Grill, calls on people to check their barbecue connections with soapy water before lighting up. Know the Drill Before You Grill launches on Sunday 4th November on regional free to air TV, radio and social media. Watch the TV ad on our YouTube channel.

People should always check that their gas cylinder is firmly turned off when it’s not in use, especially when it’s being transported. In a vehicle, the cylinder should be restrained to prevent it tipping over. Also:

  • Carry out a soapy water test on the LP gas cylinder connection
  • Check the gas cylinder – a gas cylinder must not be refilled if it has not been tested for over 10 years or if the cylinder has been damaged. Exchange LP Gas cylinders at a reputable supplier to avoid this problem.
  • Check the hose is not damaged.
  • Check the connection from the hose to the LPG cylinder to make sure it is tight – get into the habit of doing this regularly

See more at www.esv.vic.gov.au/KnowTheDrill