NSW Fair Trading has uncovered over 250 dangerous gas heaters throughout Sydney, preventing the potentially life-threatening equipment from being sold this winter.
Following targeted operations which concluded in a Western Sydney warehouse, Fair Trading is reminding people of the potential dangers of indoor heaters as the cold weather sets in.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said prohibited heaters present serious and even fatal risks including house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“During the operations across Sydney’s Flemington Markets and a Guildford factory unit, Fair Trading inspectors seized ten cabinet heaters and prevented over 250 prohibited and non-compliant gas fuelled heaters being sold,” Ms Webb said.
At Flemington Markets inspectors found two traders selling cabinet heaters, prohibited for sale in NSW. These heaters pose a major safety risk as the flame is so close to the gas bottle.
On Friday 7 June, Fair Trading inspectors raided a Guildford factory and discovered 216 prohibited cabinet heaters and 42 non-compliant pyramid heaters, preventing them from entering the market. The maximum fine for an individual convicted of selling these products is $82,500 or imprisonment of two years.
The raids follow a warning from Fair Trading in April this year about four different types of open-flued gas space heaters that had failed safety testing.
“In extreme cases, when gas heaters are faulty, unmaintained or a space is poorly ventilated, they may emit toxic carbon monoxide and other non-detectable but lethal gases,” Ms Webb said.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause chronic illness or death and it is therefore vital that people have their heaters checked regularly and continue to have them serviced by a licensed gas fitter every two years.
“People must also remember that products designed to be used outdoors should never be used inside, especially those using coal and other flammable materials in confined spaces,” Ms Webb said.
Information such as warning labels must be supplied with certain products, so that consumers are aware of any usage risks.
For more tips on keeping your family safe this winter, visit the national product safety website www.productsafety.gov.au/wellwinter.