Northwood gas explosion

WorkSafe has completed an important part of its ongoing investigation into the Northwood gas explosion and is able to give residents in the area an assurance that they can continue to use reticulated gas safely.

“We now know that there was no issue with gas reticulation in the area that led to the explosion,” Mark Wogan, Manager of Energy Safety at WorkSafe said.

“It is not our usual practice to provide investigation updates, but we are doing so in this case because WorkSafe is very aware of community concerns about this explosion.

“We are continuing our investigation alongside Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Police and if, during that process, we identify any issue that we believe the public needs to know, we will make that information available.

Mr Wogan has also reiterated important general advice for gas users.

  1. Ensure any gas fitting is carried out by a licensed gasfitter and ask to see their practicing license ID card
    • Whether you are having a gas heater, fireplace, water heating, oven, cooktop or heating system installed or serviced, you must always hire a licensed gasfitter. The experts will make sure it is connected correctly, flued and vented, working properly, and most importantly safe to use.
  2. Get your gas appliances regularly serviced
    • If you own or use a gas appliance, make sure you’re clear about who’s responsible for maintaining it. Follow the manufacturer’s advice on service requirements or be sure to get appliances checked yearly.
  3. Gas appliances must be properly ventilated
    • Gas appliances need fresh air to operate safely and efficiently. Only use unflued appliances in areas that are well ventilated.
  4. Get your LPG cabinet heater and cylinder checked every year by a licensed gasfitter
    • If gas heaters are faulty or poorly maintained, or don’t get enough air to operate, they won’t burn the gas properly. In extreme cases that means they will emit toxic carbon monoxide and other gases. Carbon monoxide can be lethal and it can’t be seen and has no smell.
  5. Check before you dig
    • Make sure you check for any underground gas, power, telephone or water services before you dig.

Look out for the danger signs

Contact a licensed gasfitter if any of these danger signs occur.

  • You can smell gas.
  • The flame burns yellow instead of blue, which could be a sign the appliance is not operating properly. (Note: some flame-effect gas fireplaces are designed to burn with a yellow flame).

If you notice a gas smell that persists after you turn off your gas appliances or supply, get outside to a safe place and call 111. For more information and tips about gas safety visit Gas Safety(external link).

 

Media contact details

For more information you can contact our Media Team using our media request form. Alternatively, you can:

Phone: 021 823 007 or

Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz