Ban of open-flued gas space heaters
As of 1 August 2022, it is illegal to sell, supply or install new or second-hand open-flued gas space heaters that do not meet new and improved safety requirements. This includes having a safety shutoff device.
Victorian homes and businesses with installed open-flued heaters should ensure their heater is serviced at least once every 2 years by a licensed gasfitter.
Coroners Court inquest into the death of Sonia Sofianopoulos
On 22 August 2018, Coroner Hawkins finished an inquiry into the death of Ms Sonia Sofianopoulos. She found that Ms Sofianopoulos’s death resulted from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Coroner Hawkins also gave 8 recommendations, the main recommendation being that open-flued gas space heaters should be phased out.
The other 7 recommendations focused on:
- improved testing of carbon monoxide leakage
- strengthened compliance
- more effective communication with relevant industry stakeholders
- targeted risk information for the community.
Phase out of open-flued gas space heaters
The Victorian Government has taken steps to put the Coroner’s recommendations and other actions into place to improve public health and safety.
This includes phasing out open-flued gas space heaters through a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) process. The Phase out of Open Flued Gas Space Heaters RIS was released on 29 December 2020.
It was also open for public consultation on the Engage Victoria website until 22 February 2021.
As of 1 August 2022, Energy Safe Victoria banned the sale and supply of open-flued gas space heaters that don’t meet the new safety standards. DEECA also amended the 2018 Gas Safety Regulations to ban the installation of open-flued gas space heaters that do not meet the new safety requirements.
From 10 August 2022, any new or replacement installations of open-flued gas space heaters that don’t meet the revised Australian Standard AS5263.1.3 will be banned in Victoria.
Mandating standards for Type A gas appliances
During the open consultation for the phase-out of open-flued gas space heaters, stakeholder feedback showed it was important to mandate compliance with Australian Standard 4575 – Type A Gas Appliances. Prior to this, the Australian Standard 4575 provided minimum standards for servicing Type A appliances, however, these were not mandated in Victoria.
After considering many submissions from the Victorian public and industry, minimum standards for servicing Type A Gas appliances were implemented through the amendment of the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations.
A statement of reasons was published on the Engage Victoria website. The new regulations came into force on 1 June 2022.