With the cost of electricity constantly rising many households are turning to gas for alternative heating and cooking solutions.
According to the South African Qualifications Certification Committee for Gas (SAQCCGAS), the onus is on homeowners - not installers - to ensure that they have a gas CoC in their possession.
“In the absence of a valid gas certificate, an insurance company would be well within its rights to repudiate a claim if a defective gas appliance caused damage to a property,” says Bertus Visser, chief executive of distribution at PSG Insure.
According to the Pressure Equipment Regulations in the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993), all gas installations must have a Certificate of Compliance (CoC), stating that the installation has been scrutinized and confirmed to be safe and leak-free.
Any home with a liquid gas installation must have a gas CoC issued by an authorised person, who must be registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS).
The types of gas installations that require this certificate include gas fires and braais, gas stoves and ovens, as well as hot water systems. Gas CoCs are valid for five years.
“Whether you’re only using a gas stove or geyser- which are deemed to be fixtures on a property - or mobile gas appliances such as heaters, you need to keep safety and legal requirements in mind,” says Visser.
“A major hazard is the ventilation around gas cylinders, pipelines, and appliances. When a gas cylinder is changed, a small amount of gas is released – which is why the set-up comes with such strict rules on placement and spacing.
“A gas cylinder is never truly empty unless it is purged with water. If you open a gas cylinder outside and hear the pressure escape and eventually subside, there is still some gas inside the cylinder. This process lets air into the cylinder and increases the risk of an air/vapour ignition. A full gas cylinder that is opened while not connected is an even greater risk, as the air/vapour ignition risk will be outside the cylinder.”
He says spare gas cylinders should always be kept in outside enclosures, but there are limitations on overall gas quantities allowed to be stored. The requirements for positioning and storing make it essential for a qualified and registered gas technician to assess your situation, install or inspect your gas fittings, and issue a compliance certificate.