OUTDOOR GAS HEATERS
Issued 2 June 2016
· Under no circumstances is it permitted to use Outdoor Gas Heaters in an indoor environment in Scout facilities or during Scouting activities.
· Outdoor Gas Heaters are designed for outdoor use and must not be used indoors under any circumstances.
· The use of Outdoor Gas Heaters in an indoor environment is considered improper use and therefore is illegal under both the Gas Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations.
The most common outdoor heaters are patio heaters. These are typically a tall mushroom style or shorter round area heater. Outdoor heaters are designed for outdoors use and when used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions are a safe source of heating. When used incorrectly, they have the potential to cause serious injury or death.
Gas heaters produce carbon dioxide, nitric oxide and nitric dioxide as they burn the gas to produce heat. This is why they require unrestricted ventilation. Symptoms of exposure to these gases include persistent tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness and death.
Indoor heaters are required to comply with Australia’s very stringent emission standards for these by-products. These standards are not applied to outdoor gas heaters.
What is an outdoor area?
The ideal outdoor area is an open-air situation with good air movement, not obstructed by buildings, structures etc. At least 50% of the total area must be open with effective cross flow ventilation. The following situations are considered to provide the natural ventilation required for an outdoor gas heater:
· Four open sides with a roof or overhead cover
· Two parallel walls or two walls at right angles with a roof or overhead cover
· Three walls, with the one open side being at least 25% of the total perimeter and the remaining three having an area of 30% or more of unrestricted opening.
Safety Precautions when using Outdoor Gas Heaters
· Do not use any Gas Heater that is designed for outdoors, indoors or in enclosed areas.
· Read the manufacturer’s instructions before operating the appliance, particularly the safety warnings usually located at the very front of the instructions.
· Have the appliance serviced by a qualified person in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
· Always test LPG cylinder, regulator and hose connections with a soapy water solution after changing LPG gas cylinders or before using the heater after periods of inactivity.
· Ensure that the outdoor area is NOT enclosed.
· Operate the appliance with all panels, covers and guards in place.
· Ensure the heater is located away from flammable materials, or materials that may shatter or explode due to heat e.g., glass.
· Ensure the appliance is stable. May need ballast or fixing to the ground for stability.
· If a gas leak develops, turn the heater off at the gas isolation or LPG cylinder valve. Do not use the appliance until it is repaired by an authorised person.
· Turn the gas off at the LPG cylinder or gas isolation valve when the appliance is not in use.
· Store the heater and spare gas cylinders outdoors and in an upright position.
· Ensure chemicals or flammable materials are not stored near the appliance.
THE USE OF OUTDOOR GAS HEATERS INDOORS FOR ANY SCOUT ACTIVITY IS DANGEROUS AND NOT AUTHORISED BY SCOUTS AUSTRALIA (SA BRANCH). THIS PRACTISE IS TO CEASE.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE PRECAUTIONS ABOVE FOR USE OF OUTDOOR GAS HEATERS IN SCOUTING.