Gas safety for caravans and motorhomes

Follow the steps below to safely use the gas and LPG appliances in your caravan or motorhome.

LPG installations in caravans and motorhomes

  • All gasfitting work on a caravan must be carried out by an authorised person (usually a licensed gasfitter).
  • All new gasfitting (including alterations) must comply with AS/NZS 5601.2: 2010 Gas installations – LP Gas Installations in caravans and boats for non-propulsive purposes.
  • When the gasfitting work has been completed the gasfitter should issue you with a Gas Safety Certificate which certifies that the work is compliant and safe to use.

Simple safety rules

  • Remember LPG is heavier that air and will collect at the lowest spot available.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
  • A woollen blanket can help smother a fat fire.
  • Refrigerators and water heaters in caravans and motorhomes must be correctly flued.
  • Never use a cooker as a space heater.
  • Portable appliances such as heaters and lanterns must never be used inside caravans or motorhomes as they may create carbon monoxide gas.
  • Make sure all appliances are adequately ventilated. 

Tips for safe use of LPG cylinders

  • Never use damaged or corroded cylinders – this can lead to leaks and fire.  Check cylinders by the date stamp.  By law, cylinders must be tested every ten years. See your supplier for details.
  • Always store and use cylinder upright. Laying a cylinder or its side may allow liquid LPG to escape. The liquid LPG will rapidly expand into a large amount of gas vapour, creating an explosion hazard.
  • Cylinders should be housed in a suitable enclosure that will vent any gas that escapes away from the cabin and sources of ignition.
  • When storing a caravan or motorhome, make sure you turn off the cylinder valve and then turn off all appliances.
  • Check cylinder for dents or corrosion, especially around the base.
  • Never attempt to repair or remove cylinder valves.
  • Never expose cylinder to extreme heat.
  • Never incinerate an ‘empty’ LPG cylinder. It may explode.
  • Never try to fill your own cylinder. Only trained persons using special equipment can do so safely. 

Tips for safe use of LPG appliances

  • Check copper tubing for dents, kinks and corrosion.
  • Check all hoses regularly for signs of cracking, fraying or splitting.
  • Check for the strong LPG odour. This could be a gas leak.
  • Check the flame on any burner. If it is yellow instead of blue, the appliance needs servicing by a competent service-person.
  • If you smell fumes, your eyes sting, or you become dizzy and nauseous while an appliance is on, turn it off immediately. Have it serviced by a competent service-person.
  • No LPG appliance should be used when a caravan is travelling.
  • Check all appliances are turned off when the towing vehicle is being refuelled.
  • Check appliances for rust or corrosion.
  • Use soapy water applied by brush or spray to check for leaks. Never use a flame.
  • Apart from room sealed appliances and refrigerators, never operate a gas appliance when occupants are sleeping.
  • Check all vents are clear. Lack of ventilation can kill. 

Emergency procedures

Fire

  • Dial 111 to call the Fire Service. Tell them an LPG cylinder is involved.
  • Tell everyone to leave the premises and go to a safe place well away from the installation.
  • If it is safe to do so, turn off all LPG valves.

Gas leak

  • Turn off the cylinder valve.
  • Clear the area of bystanders.
  • Turn off all appliances, and ventilate the caravan or motorhome. Don’t operate any electrical switches until the air is clear.