Get your Gas into Gear for Load Shedding

With load shedding back on the menu as we enter the winter months, many South African households are looking for alternative means of dealing with the power outages. In particular, the chaos of load shedding has resulted in individuals making the switch to gas appliances, be it gas stoves to keep meals cooking or gas heaters to keep things cosy during the winter chill. However, there are several safety considerations that need to be prioritised before purchasing and installing any gas appliance.

While gas as an energy source is generally safe if installed in accordance with regulations, there are some hazards associated with its use, including fires and explosions. It is, therefore, important to consider several guidelines where gas is concerned. Here are some of the safety regulations set out by the South African National Standards (SANS):

  • Gas bottles cannot be installed less than 1-meter away from any openings (i.e., doors and windows).

  • Any copper lines are required to be sleeved or protected if it enters a wall or runs through concrete or underground. This stops the copper from corroding.

  • In a domestic installation, every appliance connected to the gas line is required to have a shut-off valve or Isolation valve.

  • Domestic installations of cylinders are required to be secured in such a manner that they are unable to fall over.

  • The installation of gas at your premises is required to be accompanied by a certificate of conformity for gas appliances.

The above are only some of the regulations that homeowners need to comply with when it comes to their gas appliances. An easy way to ensure that your gas appliances meet the safety regulations is to have your installations inspected and approved. Common examples of gas installations that require a certificate of conformity include braais, gas stoves or ovens, as well as hot water systems. Homeowners need to be aware that these inspections are not just essential for their insurance policies to remain valid, but even more importantly, they are undertaken to ensure the installations do not pose a risk to themselves or their family. In addition to serious health implications, gas leakages resulting from incorrectly installed appliances can lead to severe property damage due to fire or explosion. Moreover, property damage or destruction due to faulty gas appliances, together with the absence of a valid certificate of conformity, can have significant insurance consequences. In this scenario, insurance providers are well within their rights to repudiate a claim, which will have serious financial consequences for homeowners.

If you suspect you have an unsafe or faulty gas appliance it is best to immediately turn it off and not use the appliance until it has been inspected by a registered gas technician. Finally, to help avoid repudiated claims at all costs, ask a registered installer to perform an annual maintenance and service check on all your gas appliances. For any queries or concerns regarding your household or short-term insurance, contact a broker from PBA Financial Services.

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