Cabinet heater safety

If you have a LPG cabinet heater, these simple safety tips will keep you warm and safe.

 LPG cabinet heaters are not recommended for use in homes with people with respiratory conditions. Follow the 'Heater Metre Rule':

  • Always keep at least one metre from any heat source. This will limit the chance of getting too close to a heater and burning yourself.
  • Never stand directly in front of the heater, especially when operating the controls. Cabinet heaters are very hot and may ignite clothing that is too close.
  • Keep heaters at least one metre away from materials that can burn such as curtains, clothes, furniture and rugs. Never hang clothes on a heater to dry – this is a common cause of fires.

Fireguards

  • Have some sort of protection around heat sources, such as a fire guard, to prevent any injuries. Having a fire guard will significantly reduce the risk of you getting burnt.
  • Make sure vulnerable people such as children and the infirm are safe around your LPG cabinet heater. Using a fireguard around your heater will give extra protection.

Check the connections on your heater for leaking LPG

  • Test for gas leaks using the soapy water test after you have filled your cylinder and reconnected it to your heater.
    • Spread soapy water on the cylinder connections
    • Turn on the cylinder valve. If bubbles appear LPG is leaking
    • Close the valve and contact your LPG service agent.

Make sure your heater is well ventilated

  • Portable gas heaters such as LPG cabinet heaters and other unflued space heaters need special care. Unflued gas appliances draw the air they need from the space around them and discharge the waste combustion products directly into that space.
  • If ventilation is restricted it may cause a build up of fumes. If an appliance is faulty or has not been maintained, it can produce carbon monoxide, a gas that can cause headaches and nausea, possibly leading to unconsciousness and even death. Always keep a window open when these heaters are in use.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Never use your LPG cabinet heater in any bedroom, bathroom, or confined space.

Have your heater serviced

  • Do not use your heater if you smell LPG.
  • Use your nose – if you smell LPG or anything unusual, turn off your heater and cylinder immediately.
  • Your LPG cabinet heater should be serviced every 12 months.

Approval required before sale

As of 1 April 2011, there is a legal requirement to have new cabinet heaters approved by WorkSafe before being sold or offered for sale in New Zealand.

The regulations allow us to set out the following conditions:

  • the appliance must be certified to the European standard for cabinet heaters
  • the appliance must perform satisfactorily on New Zealand LPG
  • certain warning notices and labels must be attached to the appliance.