Carbon monoxide safety program
To protect the health and safety of VBA staff, practitioners and the broader community, our teams are now working remotely.
As a result, we are managing plumbing technical enquiries via email, at email@example.com. Please include your contact details.
2020 Gas Heater Safety Webinar
The Victorian Building Authority, Energy Safe Victoria and Master Plumbers are holding a series of free Gas Heater Safety Webinars.
With Victorians spending most of their time at home, and as we head into winter, it’s more important than ever to minimise the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home.
Hosted by experts from each organisation, these webinars will provide Victorian registered or licensed Gasfitters and Type A Servicing gasfitters with all the latest information on carbon monoxide testing and the safe operation of gas appliances. The webinars will also cover responsibilities and legislative requirements.
Each webinar will run for approximately 30 to 45 minutes and provide the opportunity to have your questions answered by the expert hosts. A copy of the webinar and presentation will be available for download here after the series concludes.
These webinars will give you the expert advice you need for keeping the Victorian community – and yourself – safe this winter.
Type A Appliance Gasfitter Toolkit
ESV has developed a Type A Appliance Gasfitters Toolkit to provide you with guidance on keeping safe, and information to assist you in keeping your clients’ gas heaters operating in a safe manner.
What to do when you detect carbon monoxide spillage
When testing gas appliances, if you detect any rise in the level of carbon monoxide above your background reading, you’re obligated to eliminate the cause of the spillage and ensure the property made safe.
If this is not possible, or you are unable to eliminate the cause of the spillage, the appliance must be isolated with the consent of your client.
If your client refuses to allow you to isolate their gas appliance, you must contact Energy Safe Victoria on 1800 652 563 (select option 5).
When calling ESV, please ensure you supply the following information:
- your name, licence number and mobile telephone number
- your customer’s name, address and telephone number
- the type of heater spilling carbon monoxide
- the level of carbon monoxide spillage detected (in parts per million).
An ESV inspector will contact you soon after receiving these details to obtain further information. They will then contact your client to resolve the matter.
As part of the resolution, ESV may offer to carry out an additional inspection. The ESV inspector will remind the client of the dangers and consequences of carbon monoxide spillage. They will also inform your client that their gas supplier must withdraw supply to the premises if the heater is found to be unsafe.
What to do when there is no spillage, but your client won’t let you rectify a negative air pressure situation
When you service an open-flue gas heater and detect negative pressure, you have a responsibility to make the situation safe and inform your client of your findings.
To help you explain the potential dangers of carbon monoxide and the steps needed to overcome negative pressure, the VBA and Energy Safe Victoria have prepared an advice letter (PDF, 199.74 KB), which you should fill in and provide to your client after completing an inspection and service.
In all cases, clearing existing vents and installing additional permanent ventilation are the recommended solutions for overcoming negative pressure. If this is not possible, check with your client to see whether they are happy for you to isolate their heater.
Sometimes, though, a client may not want you isolating their gas heater or installing additional ventilation in their home. In such cases, you should take the following action:
- Hand your client the advice letter and reiterate the potential dangers of carbon monoxide and the effect of negative pressure.
- Remind your client of the need to install additional ventilation in their home to overcome the effect of negative pressure.
- Inform your client that you will notify the VBA of the situation, and that the VBA will contact them directly.
- Notify the VBA as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 815 127 during business hours. Make sure you supply the client’s contact details, site address and heater details.
Once you have notified the VBA of your actions regarding a client’s gas appliance, your job is done. The VBA will take over and work with your client to resolve their negative air pressure situation.
Please note: The VBA will not take enforcement action against a registered or licensed gasfitter if we have been appropriately notified of the situation regarding your client’s gas heater.
- Open-Flue Gas Space Heater Inspection and Service Letter (PDF, 199.74 KB)
- Gas Information Sheet 37: Carbon Monoxide Measuring Equipment
- Gas Information Sheet 38: Using Carbon Monoxide Detection Equipment to Check Gas Appliances for Spillage
- Gas Information Sheet 44: Carbon Monoxide Safe Working Level
- Gas Information Sheet 57: Type A Appliance Service – Your Obligations under the Gas Safety Act
- Gas Information Sheet 58: Type A Appliance Service – The Quality and Adequacy of Air Supply
- Gas Information Sheet 59: Type A Appliance Service – Inspecting and Servicing Type A Appliances
Negative pressure and carbon monoxide spillage training video
To support all Victorian gasfitters and Type A Appliance Servicing plumbers, Energy Safe Victoria have produced a short instructional video demonstrating the steps required to correctly test for negative air pressure and carbon monoxide spillage.
The video guides you through these important tests, outlining faults common to gas heaters and demonstrating how to identify and combat negative air pressure.
It also provides you with information to be aware of when testing for carbon monoxide spillage. This includes safety tips for carrying out this important work.
You should refer to this video before servicing or testing open-flue gas appliances, as it explains what you must do if negative pressure or carbon monoxide is found in a building.
It may also be useful for homeowners and residents to watch this video to find out why their gas heating appliances should be serviced and tested every two years.
Frequently asked questions
Why am I required to do the learning module?
The VBA takes consumer safety seriously. As a gasfitter, we’re sure you do too.
The learning module is designed to ensure that all Victorian gasfitters stay up to date with current testing procedures.
I’m a registered or licensed gasfitter. What happens if I don’t complete the module?
If your next renewal date was on or after 1 November 2018 and you have not completed the module by that date, your registration or licence in Gasfitting and/or Type A Appliance Servicing and/or Conversion work will not be renewed at your next renewal date.
On your next renewal date (occurring on or after 1 November 2018):
- Your ID card and "Find a Practitioner" record will no longer state that you are a qualified gasfitter.
- You will not be able to lawfully complete any gasfitting work.
Additionally, if you are a licensed gasfitter:
- You will not be able to supervise registered practitioners or apprentices in gasfitting work.
- You will not be able to issue compliance certificates in this work.
I’m intending to retire and not renew my registration or licence when it expires. Do I still need to complete the module?
We recommend you complete the module, even if you intend to retire or leave the industry. You need to stay up to date with current testing procedures while you are working as a gasfitter.
I no longer reside or work in Victoria. Do I still need to the complete the module?
We recommend you complete the module to ensure you stay up to date with current testing procedures.
If you no longer want to retain your registration or licence in Victoria, please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.
I’m a Type B Gasfitter. Do I have to complete the module?
You will need to complete the module if you are also registered or licensed in the main class of Gasfitting or the specialised classes of Type A Appliance Servicing or Conversion work.
I hold a restricted gasfitting registration. Do I need to complete the module?
Yes – if you want to renew your gasfitting registration when it is next due.
I attended the VBA's Carbon Monoxide Safety Program and/or completed carbon monoxide training with Master Plumbers. Do I need to complete the module?
Yes. If you do not complete the module, you will no longer be eligible to work as a gasfitter from the date of your next renewal.
Having attended the recent training run by the VBA and/or Master Plumbers will assist you in successfully completing the learning module.
How do I access and complete the module?
The VBA emailed all Victorian gasfitters a personalised link to the module in 2018. This link is tied to your registration/licence and cannot be used by others. To start the module, click the link and follow the prompts. If you no longer have the link, call us on 1300 815 127 and we will send you a new link.
You can complete the module on a smartphone, tablet or computer. You just need an internet connection. If you don’t have one of these devices, and you can access your email online, you can complete the module from any smartphone, tablet or computer (such as an office computer, a friend’s computer or a computer at a library).
Alternatively, you can book a time to complete the module at a VBA office by contacting us on 1300 815 127.
When you successfully complete the module, the VBA will update your practitioner record to reflect that you have completed the assessment.
I completed my exam. How do I know I passed?
Once you have finished the learning module and exam, you will see the following message on your screen:
You successfully completed the Combustion Spillage Testing module and exam.
Click on the links below to access the supporting documents mentioned in the module. You can also find the supporting documents and other information on the VBA website.
What does the module involve?
The learning module is divided into eight topics and an exam. Each topic includes a four- to six-minute video and a series of multiple choice questions.
At the end of the module, you must complete a final series of questions that assess your overall knowledge of the carbon monoxide spillage and negative pressure tests.
Each question is based on content covered in the module.
How long will it take to complete the module?
Most gasfitters will complete the module within one hour.
What if English is not my first language?
The learning module has been written for people with various levels of English.
If you are concerned about your English skills, try watching the first video to see how you go.
If you find it too difficult, you can complete the module at a VBA office with a professional interpreter. Just contact us on 1300 815 127.
Why was I was sent a different link to my workmate?
All gasfitters in Victoria received a personalised link to access the learning module. This link allows the VBA to be notified when you successfully complete the module.
Who developed the content in the module?
The learning module was developed by experts in gasfitting and Type A appliance servicing from the VBA, Energy Safe Victoria and Master Plumbers.
I’d like to provide feedback on the module.
You can email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is the learning module difficult?
All of the information you need to complete the module is provided as you progress.
Are there fact sheets available in other languages?
At this stage, the fact sheets are only available in English.
How do I know the link I received via email or SMS is legitimate?
In 2018, the VBA sent all registered or licensed gasfitters a 'short link' to the learning module. This link was generated from legitimate URL shortening services run by Google and TinyURL.
The personalised part of your link appears after the forward slash ( / ) and is made up of letters and numbers. It will look similar to one of the following examples:
Note: No confidential information was used to generate your personalised short link. All information used during the shortening process is publicly available on our ‘Find a practitioner’ portal.
I'm not very savvy with technology. Will it be difficult to complete the module?
The module has been designed so that it is simple to use. If you can do a basic Google search or read an email, you have enough skill to complete the module.
However, if you struggle, please contact the VBA on 1300 815 127.
How do I access the module if I don’t have a working smartphone, tablet or computer?
If you can access your email online, you can complete the module from any smartphone, tablet or computer (such as an office computer, a friend’s computer or a computer at a library).
Alternatively, you can book a time to complete the module at a VBA office by contacting us on 1300 815 127.
My link is not working.
Firstly, check that your smartphone, tablet or computer is connected to the internet. Can you access your email or do a Google search?
If you are connected to the internet and you’re still having problems, you can contact the QIN Tech Support Team for assistance with any IT issues you may have with the module.
QIN Tech Support is available from 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. Their phone number is 1300 475 557.
How do I calibrate my carbon monoxide analyser?
You need to follow the instructions in your manufacturer’s manual.
If you have lost your manual, many manufacturers now make the manuals available online. Alternatively, give them a call.
How often do I need to calibrate my carbon monoxide analyser?
The VBA and Energy Safe Victoria recommend that you have your analyser calibrated every 12 months, or before its next use if you think it may have been damaged (e.g. by dropping it).
What is the name of the smoke-producing device shown in the video?
The smoke-producing device in the video is a smoke pen. You can also use smoke matches or incense sticks.
Where do I purchase the testing equipment from? Are there any technical requirements?
You can arrange the purchase of the testing equipment from any plumbing merchant.
You will need:
- a smoke-producing device (such as a smoke wand or smoke matches), and
- a carbon monoxide analyser – both the VBA and Energy Safe Victoria recommend that you use an analyser with a sampling probe.
Can I talk to a gasfitting expert? I have some questions.
Yes – you can speak to a member of our technical and regulatory expert team by calling 1300 815 127 between 8.30 am and 4 pm.
For carbon monoxide technical questions and answers, see ESV Q&A sheet.