Great outdoors, lethal indoors: gas safety campaign for campers

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Only use portable gas appliances in the open air due to carbon monoxide dangers
  • Linked to five deaths in Australia in the past decade
  • ‘Great Outdoors, Lethal Indoors’ campaign runs during summer and autumn

Ahead of Western Australia’s peak camping season, a new campaign is reminding holidaymakers to always use portable gas appliances in the open air to avoid potentially lethal exposure to carbon monoxide.

The State Government’s energy safety regulator, Building and Energy, is sharing the “Great Outdoors, Lethal Indoors” message to encourage safe use of portable outdoor gas appliances such as barbecues, cookers, heaters and fridges.

“These appliances should be labelled ‘outdoor use only’, which means they must only be used in the open air,” Western Australia’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said.

“They should never be used inside tents, caravans, campervans or other enclosed areas, even if the doors or windows are open. The same advice applies when using gas patio heaters or barbecues at your home – keep them in the open air.

“Gas equipment is safe to use if it is in good condition, operated correctly and in a proper location but, as our campaign says, the consequences can be lethal if carbon monoxide builds up in an area without enough ventilation.”

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas known as the “invisible killer” because it is colourless, odourless and tasteless. It can be produced when liquid petroleum (LP) gas does not burn properly due to a faulty appliance or lack of air in an enclosed space.

Tragically, accidental exposure to carbon monoxide from gas appliances has been linked to at least five deaths in Australia in the past decade.

The “Great Indoors, Lethal Indoors” message will be seen and heard during the summer and through to mid-April on social media, television, radio, billboards and displays in Perth and key regional locations.

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