Gas leak danger in the home

Failing to ensure gas appliances are safe to use or properly maintained can result in death, serious injury or considerable property damage. Carbon monoxide leaks are hard to detect as the poisonous gas is tasteless, colourless and odourless.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Landlords’ responsibilities

Under the Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord must ensure rented premises are maintained in good repair. Good repair includes all appliances provided by the landlord. These appliances must be safe to use and properly maintained.

Landlords should ensure that:

  • tenants are provided with a copy of the manufacturers' instructions
  • only a licensed gasfitter performs gas fitting work
  • all appliances are safe for use before letting or re-letting a property
  • all appliances, pipework and flue systems are installed and maintained correctly
  • pipes are correctly sealed if appliances are removed
  • all safety checks and details of work done on gas installations are recorded and certificates of compliance obtained when required.

For more information, visit the Energy Safe Victoria website.

Tenants/residents’ responsibilities

Tenants and residents are responsible for:

  • using gas appliances according to instructions
  • immediately report any faults to the landlord, owner or agent.

If you are a tenant or resident, make sure you use the appliance according to instructions. If you are concerned about the safety of a gas heater, contact the landlord or owner and ask for it to be tested.

Before you sign a lease or agreement, you may consider requesting a condition/clause be added requiring the landlord to undertake to have any gas appliances checked and certified safe every two years.

Fixing a gas leak qualifies as an urgent repair.

To minimise gas safety risks:

  • use appliances appropriately and in accordance with the instructions
  • report any fault or malfunction to your landlord, owner or agent
  • immediately stop using any appliance that is obviously faulty
  • allow reasonable access for gas safety checks
  • do not illegally install, remove or tamper with any gas appliance.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are believed to be accurate at the time of posting. Any advice here is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek professional advice prior to acting on this information.