Outdoor living spaces provide a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature here in Wellington. While creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for gatherings with family and friends. At Paramount Plumbing & Gas, we know it’s essential to prioritise gas safety when incorporating gas-powered appliances such as barbeques, fire pits, and outdoor heaters into your outdoor living area.
So you can ensure a secure and enjoyable outdoor experience by following proper safety measures. This article will explore some essential gas safety tips for outdoor living spaces, helping you create a safe and welcoming environment for your Wellington home.
Location and Ventilation
When setting up gas-powered appliances in your outdoor living space, carefully consider their location. Ensure you place grills, fire pits, and outdoor heaters in well-ventilated areas, away from combustible materials and structures.
It’s also vital to ensure that there is ample space around the appliances, as this prevents the risk of fire or gas buildup. Adequate ventilation is crucial for outdoor gas appliances to operate safely and prevent the accumulation of harmful gases.
Regular Inspections and Maintenance
Always regularly inspect and maintain your outdoor gas appliances to ensure their optimal performance and safety. Check for leaks, damage, or signs of wear in the gas lines, connectors, and burners.
Clean and remove any debris or obstructions that may affect the proper functioning of the appliances. And if you notice any issues or concerns, contact us at Paramount Plumbing & Gas. As a qualified gas fitter in Wellington, we can ensure these checks are conducted in a professional manner and advise of any repairs required that we can assist you with.
Proper Connection and Usage
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for properly connecting and using your outdoor gas appliances. Ensure that gas connections are secure and that all valves and knobs are in the correct position.
Use a proper regulator and compatible gas cylinders or supply lines recommended by the manufacturer. On a side note – never use outdoor gas appliances or fuels meant for outdoor use indoors, as they can pose serious safety hazards. And be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure. According to Worksafe NZ, the first symptoms of CO poisoning are mild headaches and dizziness.
Gas Cylinder Safety
If you use gas cylinders for your outdoor appliances, handling and storing them safely is crucial. Keep your gas cylinders in an upright position and on a stable surface. And make sure they are away from heat sources and direct sunlight.
Store them in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. And don’t forget to check the cylinders regularly for damage, corrosion, or expiration dates.
Always follow proper procedures when connecting or disconnecting gas cylinders and ensure the valves are tightly closed when not in use.
Proper Lighting and Ignition
When lighting gas-powered appliances, follow the recommended ignition methods provided by the manufacturer. Use long-handled lighters or igniters which are designed for outdoor use to prevent accidental burns. And avoid using matches or other open flames near gas leaks or near gas appliances.
If you smell gas while attempting to light an appliance, immediately stop and address the issue before proceeding.
Interesting fact: Natural gas is odourless, usually making leaks impossible to detect. So a harmless chemical called mercaptan that smells like sulphur or rotten eggs is added. This helps you identify a gas leak.
Extinguishing Flames and Proper Shutdown
After use, make sure to extinguish flames in your outdoor fire pits, heaters, and barbeques properly. Also allow the appliances to cool down before handling or storing them.
And remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for shutting down and turning off gas appliances. Always double-check that all gas valves are securely closed to prevent gas leaks too.
Educate and Supervise
When it comes to your family. Ensure that all household members and guests know gas safety protocols and guidelines for outdoor appliances.
Educate them about potential risks, such as gas leaks or improper usage, and emphasise the importance of following safety measures.
And never leave gas-powered appliances unattended, especially when in use. Supervising children and pets around outdoor living spaces is vital to prevent accidents and ensure their safety.
Prepare for potential gas-related emergencies by knowing how to shut off the gas supply to your outdoor appliances.
Locate the main or shut-off valve and familiarise yourself with the procedure for shutting off the gas in case of a leak or emergency. Also keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and ensure it is in good working condition. It’s essential to ensure that you have a clear and well-communicated plan in place for gas-related emergencies.
Be sure to discuss this plan with your family members and any guests you may have in your home. This way, everyone will know what to do in an emergency, and you’ll be able to evacuate safely and efficiently.
What are the Rules for Outdoor Gas Fires in New Zealand?
Ensure that your fire remains at a safe distance of no less than three meters from any buildings, hedges, shelter belts, or other flammable materials. Additionally, ensure you have a readily accessible means to extinguish the fire within a maximum distance of five meters from your brazier or fire pit/bowl. Always maintain supervision over the fire and never leave it unattended. See the New Zealand Fire Safety rules for all outdoor fires for more advice.
At The End of The Day
Although we all love our outdoor living with firepits, barbecues, and outdoor heating, gas safety is paramount when incorporating gas-powered appliances into your outdoor living spaces.
By following these gas safety tips, which include proper location and ventilation, regular inspections and maintenance. As well as secure connections, safe lighting and shutdown procedures, education and supervision, and emergency preparedness, you can enjoy your outdoor living area with peace of mind.
If you encounter any gas-related issues or concerns, consult us at Paramount Plumbing & Gas, your local qualified gas fitter in Wellington, for professional assistance.