LP Gas Safety

The storage and handling of gas bottles is regulated in Australia by the provisions of Australian Standards 1596:2014: The Storage and handling of LP Gas. 

As Victoria’s safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria’s principal role is to ensure the safe and efficient supply of energy to Victorians. This includes providing the community with information and resources on the safe use of gas, including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG.). Information on LPG safety can be found at:

BBQ Safety

Every year MFB firefighters attend dozens of avoidable barbecue fires. Making sure your barbecue is safe and ready to use is quick and easy to do.

Check the hose and regulator connections are safe by spraying them with soapy water. Bubbles will form if gas is escaping. If you’ve got any doubts about the connections, turn off the gas and replace the connection or contact a licensed gasfitter.

You should leak-test the connection to the gas cylinder every time you connect it. And remember, a barbecue should never be left unattended.

To ensure your barbecue is safe:

  • If a fire occurs, don’t try to extinguish the flames if is not safe to do so. Call Triple Zero and turn off the gas at the meter or cylinder, but only if you can do so safely.
  • Check the LP gas cylinder on your barbecue before you turn it on. A cylinder must not be refilled if it hasn’t been tested for more than 10 years or if the cylinder has been damaged.
  • To have your gas cylinder tested ensure you use a licensed gasfitter
  • You can exchange LP gas cylinders at a reputable supplier
  • Check the hose to make sure it has not deteriorated
  • Check the connections to make sure they are tight and that the O rings are in good condition and have not cracked or split
  • Use your barbecue in a clear space. Never use it indoors or in a confined area and ensure there is adequate clearance from walls, fences, and other property
  • Cook with barbecue utensils and wear an apron to protect yourself from hot fat
  • Remove excess fat from the barbecue after each use to prevent fires
  • Do not use barbecues in windy conditions as the burners may blow out, risking a gas leak

Make gas safety part of your routine

1. Have a gas safety supervisor

Most hazards occur when LP Gas cylinders and portable gas outdoor heaters are not handled correctly. On every shift there should always be a supervisor responsible for the safe use and storage of any LP Gas and outdoor heaters. The supervisor should also ensure all staff have up-to-date training and awareness of safety guidelines.

2. Follow the gas safety rules

If you are involved in setting up heaters or connecting and changing cylinders you should be familiar with this safety information. Always use this information to ensure that LP Gas safety is maintained.

You should be aware of the manufacturer’s instructions on outdoor heater usage and the required clearances needed between outdoor heaters and other materials, how to check for gas connection leaks, how to handle LP Gas cylinders and how to store LP Gas cylinders.

Heater safety rules

The use of portable outdoor heaters with LP Gas cylinders is a convenient way to provide warmth to customers during the colder months of the year.

However, this convenience also brings risks to lives and property. Staff and business owners must be aware of dangers associated with LP Gas use, as they responsibilities for ensuring a safe environment and the need for implementing safe work.

If you have any questions regarding anything you have read, speak to your supervisor, employer or call WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.

1. Never use an outdoor heater indoors

Outdoor heaters are not suitable for indoor use and should only be used in well-ventilated outdoor areas. Poisonous gas can be released from faulty outdoor heaters used inside buildings and can lead to serious injury or death.

2. Keep outdoor heaters clear from awnings and combustible material

General clearances for patio heaters are 300mm to 500mm above and to the side of patio heaters and for radiant panel heaters 750mm to 1100mm depending on heat output.

All awnings, partitions and other combustible movable panels must not breach the minimum required clearance in any position. Different outdoor heaters have different clearance requirements so read the manufacturer’s instructions for specific requirements.

3. Put outdoor heaters on stable ground

An outdoor heater should be put on stable and level ground and must be protected from damage or interference to avoid the heater being knocked over and hitting people or causing a fire.

4. Provide enough clearance for people to move safely around portable heaters

Follow the general clearance guidelines of 300mm - 500mm for patio heaters or 750mm to 1100mm for radiant panel heaters when assessing walkway clearances for staff and customers. Use your common sense and if it looks dangerous, move the heater to a safer location.


1. Never use damaged or malfunctioning heaters, connection hoses or cylinders

Heaters which are burning yellow or producing soot require immediate attention. A damaged or malfunctioning heater, connection hose or cylinder must be removed from service immediately and marked ‘do not use’.

2. Service your heater at least every 2 years

Heaters need to be serviced every 2 years and more frequently if recommended by the manufacturer. Your supervisor should keep a register of heater service dates to ensure that the appliances are being serviced on a regular basis.

3. Check gas connections from cylinder to outdoor heater for leaks

Every time a cylinder is changed check for leaks at the connections using the soapy water test. To do this spray the connections with a soapy water solution – if bubbles form there is a leak. If a connection is loose it should be tightened. If a connection or hose is faulty or damaged it should be discarded. If in doubt, turn off the gas, notify your supervisor, employer or contact a licensed gasfitter.

4. Look for the AGA badge of compliance

Check that the Australian Gas Association badge of compliance is attached to all outdoor heaters on the premises. If you cannot find the compliance badge contact your supervisor, employer or call Energy Safe Victoria on 1800 652 563.

Correct storage and handling of LP Gas cylinders

Keep all LP Gas cylinders in a secure well-ventilated location

It is recommended that all cylinders not in use be kept in a secure outdoor location. This prevents the risk of LP Gas leaks which could lead to devastating explosions. If gas cylinders are being stored inside, there is a limit of 30kg total combined capacity for all cylinders present. The maximum cylinder size allowed is 15kg and only 10kg of cylinder size is allowed per 10 square metres of floor area.
If in doubt contact WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.

Wherever possible use fixed gas supply

It is strongly recommended that outdoor gas heaters be fixed, and fuelled from fixed piped gas supply, either natural gas or a remotely located LP Gas tank or cylinder. Portable outdoor heaters should only be used temporarily or where fixed piping is not feasible.

Using fixed piping avoids heaters being knocked over or damaged and removes the hazard of staff handling and storing LP Gas cylinders.

If you need further information on being gas safe you can contact:


  • 1800 136 089

Restaurant and Catering Victoria  

  • 9654 5866

Energy Safe Victoria

  • 1800 652 563



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Safety Tip

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) recommends monthly testing of smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.

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