State Government issues safety alert about potential health risks of popular gas heaters

The Victorian Government has issued a safety alert about the potential health risks of Vulcan Heritage and Pyrox Heritage gas heaters producing high levels of carbon monoxide.

Tenants Victoria CEO, Mark O’Brien urges tenants to contact their landlords immediately if they are concerned about their gas appliances.

“If people are at all concerned about their gas heater and whether or not it’s been checked, they should write to their landlord and refer to the Energy Safe guidelines which say that gas heaters should be serviced every two years,” he says.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure the rental property is maintained in good repair.  They must respond immediately to requests for urgent repairs, which include:

  • the failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating, or laundering
  • any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure.

The landlord must organise for a qualified gasfitter to inspect and test the Heritage heater to check for any carbon monoxide leaks.

O’Brien says this latest alert once again highlights a gap in health and safety protections in the state’s tenancy laws.

“There is currently no mandatory requirement for landlords to check gas appliances,” he says.  “There should be regulated minimum property standards for all rental properties that include the checking and maintenance recommended by Energy Safe Victoria.”

Tenants Victoria urges the State Government to make the regulation of minimum property standards a priority in its review of the Residential Tenancies Act, and act to legislate these key changes before the state election.

For further information about gas appliances and safety advice for tenants and residents, visit the Gas appliances page on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.