Gas space heater safety
The Office of the Technical Regulator is urging South Australians with a Vulcan Heritage or a Pyrox Heritage gas heater in their home to not use them until they have been tested by a qualified gasfitter.
Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage gas space heaters can pose significant safety risks by producing high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) under certain conditions. If a house is well sealed and the heater is operating at the same time as a kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan, CO from the heater can be drawn into living areas and accumulate at a deadly level. The risk is increased if the heaters and components,such as the flue, are not regularly serviced.
Open flue heaters, like the Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage space heater, are old technology that is not compatible with many new or renovated homes having less natural ventilation.
Identifying a Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage gas space heater
These heaters can be easily identified by the Vulcan or Pyrox branding and the ‘Heritage’ marking on the front in the lower left hand corner. This marking is shown in the images below.
What to do if you have a Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage gas space heater
If you own a Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage gas space heater, you should stop using it until it has been tested by a qualified gasfitter. This testing must also include the flue and a check for adequate ventilation.
The manufacturer, Climate Technologies, has a program in place to test every household with one of these heaters. Climate Technologies will discuss a range of options based on the result of testing. Climate Technologies will also contribute to the cost incurred.
- Anyone with a Pyrox Heritage or a Vulcan Heritage gas heater should call Climate Technologies on (03) 8795 2462 to arrange for a qualified gasfitter to test the heater and the installation environment.
- For people living in public housing (Housing SA clients) with a Pyrox of Vulcan heritage gas heater, please call 131 288 to arrange to test the heaters.
In the meantime, please use alternative sources of heating.
DO NOT bring outdoor gas appliances, such as a patio heater inside. This is extremely dangerous and could lead to CO poisoning.
How often should space heaters be checked
A space heater is designed to heat a particular space rather than the entire house. For example, a space heater in a living room is designed to heat the living room only.
Indoor gas appliances, especially space heaters, should be checked by a qualified gasfitter every two years.
Other brands of gas space heaters
The best way to find out if your heater is room sealed or open flued is to contact the manufacturer and provide them with the brand and model of your heaters.
Vulcan water heaters
Vulcan gas water heaters are not affected by this issue. The program in place is for Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage gas space heaters only.