Easter holidays caravan gas safety warning

'Carbon Monoxide' painted on a road
With the Easter holidays fast approaching, the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is urging campers to make sure their caravans, campervans or camper trailers are safe and ready to use.

The VBA is warning campers to make sure all gas connections and plumbing is safe to guard against gas leaks and the “silent killer” - carbon monoxide poisoning.

The VBA’s Acting Executive Director of Operations David Brockman said it is important to ensure vents are cleaned and not obstructed, as this may contribute to carbon monoxide inside the van because of poor ventilation.

“Owners should make sure they are dealing with a licensed plumber when undertaking gas safety tests,” he said.

Mr Brockman said owners should add gas safety checks to the list of holiday preparations and site set-up.

“All compartments need to have ventilation to prevent excessive condensation, build-up of products of combustion, or other toxic conditions,” he said.

“Having proper ventilation helps to ensure your gas appliances and fluing system work properly and contributes to a safe caravan.”

Holidaymakers are advised to comply with all warning labels inside and outside their recreational vehicles.

Ensure gas appliances have a safe start up and operation and make regular checks of safety and operation controls, using a licensed plumber where gas safety is concerned.

“If you’re going away for the weekend, don’t underestimate the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning - a silent killer that can quickly turn a much-needed getaway into a family tragedy,” he said.

  • Checking all hoses, cylinders and connections at appliances for gas leaks with soapy water – bubbles will reveal potential leak points.
  • Road travel can loosen gas connections so make sure to check these again on arrival.
  • When replacing a gas bottle, test the connection to the new bottle with soapy water.

When camping, make sure your caravan always has good ventilation – day and night.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur if ventilation openings are covered and gas appliances are being used, or are potentially malfunctioning, inside the caravan.

Never use external gas appliances inside a caravan or tent, and never use installed gas cooking appliances in the van for heating.

Just like homes, any work on gas in caravans must be undertaken by a licensed plumber with a Type A Appliance Servicing class license.

A compliance certificate must be provided for plumbing repair or alteration work on caravans.

For more information on gas safety and to find a licenced plumber visit the VBA website.