Safety tips

If you can smell LPG (smells like rotten eggs) inside, or suspect there is a gas leak:

  • Keep flames and cigarettes out of the room and away from the area
  • Turn off all gas appliances – if safe to do so
  • Turn off the gas supply at the meter or LPG cylinder – if safe to do so
  • Open doors and windows
  • Leave electrical appliances or switches as they are – a flick on or off could cause a spark and ignite the gas
  • Don’t use your phone in the area
  • Contact a registered gas fitter to check the installation. Use a phone away from the gas leak
  • In an emergency, call 111
  • If the smell persists, go outside to a safe place away from the building.

You can use soapy water on the gas pipes or connections to find leaks. This will make growing bubbles if any gas is leaking. A spray bottle is really good for this.

For more information about keeping yourself safe with gas visit gassafety.org.nz/gas-emergencies.html

Read on for more tips on keeping safe with gas.

LPG is a great form of energy. Make the most of it by using it safely. Learn more about LPG health and safety from our LPG Safety Data Sheet.

In case of emergency dial 111.


LPG appliance safety

  • Good ventilation is very important. If you are using an unflued portable gas heater, always keep a window or door slightly open
  • Never use a LPG cabinet heater in bedrooms or bathrooms. Ventilation cannot be guaranteed, no matter how big the room is
  • LPG can cause some natural rubber and plastics to break down, so always use hoses especially designed for LPG. In New Zealand, hoses are marked with the letters ‘LPG’ as well as other specifications – so always check
  • Keep the hose from your heater or BBQ gently curved to avoid kinks and damage
  • Sometimes gas fails to ignite properly. If that happens, turn off the supply and wait a couple of minutes, to let unburnt gas disperse before you try again
  • Never connect LPG to appliances that have been set up for natural gas – it could damage them

It is important to have your appliances serviced regularly to ensure they are running safely and efficiently. Get a registered gasfitter to check all your gas appliances at least once every two years.


Gas water heaters

It is important that you keep your gas water heater clean by removing dust, lint or sawdust that could block the air intakes at the bottom of the tank.

If you insulate your water heater:

  • Keep the insulation blanket well off the floor so it does not cut off the air supply to the pilot light
  • Use non-flammable insulation or commercial pipe wraps to insulate the hot water pipe that extends from the top of the hot water cylinder

LPG cylinder safety

We will always run a safety check on your 45kg cylinders when we come and swap empty cylinders for full ones, but here are some important safety tips you should follow for large and small LPG cylinders.

  • Always keep LPG cylinders upright – if you lie them down the safety valve will be compromised
  • Always secure 9kg cylinders when you are moving them in your vehicle – never let them roll around
  • Don’t expose cylinders to excessive heat and never leave them in a vehicle in the sun
  • Keep the hose from your heater or BBQ gently curved to avoid kinks and damage
  • Make sure your 9kg cylinder has a current test date stamped on the neck. Gas cylinders need to be certified every 10 years. Your local refilling station will show you where the test date is written
  • Use soapy water to check if your cylinder is leaking. If you see bubbles then there is probably a leak. Turn off the valve, move the cylinder to a ventilated area, then contact your gas supplier. NEVER USE A MATCH to find a leak
  • Activities that might cause a spark, such as welding or grinding, need to be done well away from LPG cylinders

BBQ safety

  • Position your BBQ at least a metre away from any objects
  • Check the connection between the gas bottle and fuel line is secured to avoid leakage
  • Never use a match or open flame to check for leaks
  • Ensure all hoses and valves are fully secured and not split or leaking and check them regularly

Essential first aid – LPG

First aid
EyesDo not delay – flood eyes gently with clean tepid water (not hot) for at least 15 minutes, or flush eyes for as long as possible with sterile saline solutionSeek medical attention
SkinImmediately bathe the area with large quantities of water (preferably tepid) for at least 15 minutesIf possible, remove any clothing splashed with liquid LPG that is not sticking to the skinPlace the injured person in a warm area and gradually rewarm the affected areas to normal body temperatureDo not apply any form of direct heatKeep the person warm and comfortableLoosen restrictive clothingGently cover the affected area with glad wrap or a wet (not fibrous) material, ensuring that circulation is not restrictedDo no give anything to eat or drinkNever leave the injured person unattendedKeep contaminated clothing away from ignition sources as some gas may be given off during thawingSeek medical attention
InhaledRemove victim to fresh airIf breathing has stopped or irregular, apply artificial respirationSeek medical attention

Identifying a leak

Use your nose – If you can smell LPG (smells like rotten eggs), check if:

• The pilot light has gone out on an appliance
• The burner on your stove has been left on accidently; and
• Open the windows and call your gasfitter

Use your ears – If you hear a hissing noise it could be gas. Turn off appliances and check it out.

Use your eyes – Can you see ice or frosting on the pipes, fittings or joints? Is there a hazy cloud around your pipes or bottles? Is your gas bill higher than usual?

Any of these things could indicate a gas leak. Click here for what to do when you suspect a leak.

How to check your 9kg bottle for leaks:

  1. Make a weak solution of soapy water (one part dishwashing liquid to four parts water)
  2. Connect your 9kg bottle to the BBQ
  3. Turn all the burner knobs to OFF
  4. Turn your gas bottle ON
  5. Brush or spray the soapy solution on all the connections (where the pipe connects to the BBQ and the bottle)
  6. If bubbles appear it means the connection isn’t properly sealed
  7. Turn OFF the gas and tighten or fix the connections
  8. Repeat until no bubbles appear

Safe handling

LPG is heavier than air, so it needs to be kept a safe distance away from openings and drains to prevent spillage from spreading.

Always keep bottles in an upright position away from heat sources.

Keep bottles closed when not in use.

For all emergenciesNo smoking or naked flames within 50m.
Move people from immediate area. Keep upwind. To contact the Fire Service, dial 111.
LeakCarry out action for all emergencies as above. Stop flow of gas/liquid if possible. Spray water to disperse gas cloud but avoid spraying water directly on the leaking container as this may increase leakage. Prevent spillage from spreading or entering underground drains by blocking with sand or earth.
FireCarry out action for all emergencies as above. Only if it is safe to do so, shut off supply of gas rather than put out fire. If water is available, spray containers to keep them cool.
DisposalContact us on 0800 762 542.

In an emergency

If you have an LPG leak, follow these instructions until the emergency services or a technician arrive:

  • Turn off your LPG appliances immediately
  • Don’t light a match, lighter or cigarette
  • Don’t use any electrical appliances, mobile phones or even turn on a light as these can be ignition sources
  • Turn off the gas at the bottles or meter
  • Open all windows and doors at the property

Stopping supply

We need to keep all our customers safe so, if there is an emergency, we reserve the right to stop LPG without notice. We will only do this if customers are at risk when:

  • An installation, appliance or fitting is found to be unsafe during an inspection.
  • There is a breach of gas industry regulations. The legislation is there to protect you from danger and breaking the law can put you and others at risk.

If we spot risks, the LPG supply will be turned off or bottles removed immediately until the problem is fixed or the issue resolved, and we will keep you informed.

In case of an emergency, dial 111.


Location Compliance Certificate

If you store 100kg or more of LPG on a workplace site, it is a legal requirement to have a Location Compliance Certificate or LCC (Prior to 1 December 2017 this was referred to as Location Test Certificate). For a non-workplace site, this also applies to storage of over 300kg.

If you fall under these requirements, we require a valid Location Compliance Certificate to supply LPG to you.

LCCs are issued by approved compliance certifiers who will assess your site and inform you of any changes needed to meet regulations. You can find a certifier here. Type in your location and certification type in the fields provided to find a certifier in your region.

You will also need a copy of our Safety Data Sheet which includes information about the composition of LPG. You need to have one of these to obtain your LCC.

For places other than a workplace, for LPG storage capacity of 100kg or more but less than 300kg a test certificate is not required. But these sites will need to be assessed by Rockgas to ensure they comply with the minimum criteria set down in the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017. Rockgas will then issue a compliance plaque for the site for a 3-year period. Please contact us to arrange an assessment.