Liquefied petroleum gas safety

Owners of any vessel that has gas onboard should take precautions to reduce the risk of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) related fires. Gas barbecues should only be used in well ventilated areas where gas will not accumulate in a cavity or well. Any appliance must be secured against sudden vessel movements.

Permanently installed gas installations must comply with Energy Safe Victoria's requirements. This includes having an inspection of new installations by an Energy Safe Victoria Inspector.

10 tips for reducing LPG-related boat fire risk

  1. LPG is heavier than air. If it escapes into confined spaces it may accumulate and become an explosion risk.
  2. Always use a licensed gas fitter for any LPG works
  3. Store any gas cylinders upright in an isolated, externally ventilated gas cylinder locker
  4. Regularly check that hoses and connections are in good condition and tightly/firmly secured
  5. Fit vapour detectors and regularly check that they are working
  6. Fit a reminder notice above gas appliances – 'turn off gas when not in use'
  7. Check appliances are functioning correctly
  8. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by sealing water heater from sleeping areas
  9. Ensure areas where appliances are being used are adequately ventilated
  10. Ensure all portable cooking or heating appliances will stay securely in place during unexpected vessel movements.

Check out the ESV guidance: Gas installations on marine craft

Safe houseboat electrics checklist

Energy Safe Victoria has produced the following checklist below for electricians and houseboat owners.

  1. Does the low-voltage electrical supply come from one or more 15 amp socket outlets (minimum rating) or sets of direct connection terminals?
  2. Are they protected by individual circuit breakers or safety switches?
  3. Is the supply lead a heavy duty flexible cord?
  4. Does the supply lead permit normal movement of the boat at its mooring without undue stress?
  5. Is the supply lead as short as possible (no greater than 25m in length)?
  6. Is the supply lead installed in a way that prevents water flowing along it from reaching the appliance inlet or supply plug?
  7. Do not connect the low voltage electrical supply while the supply lead is coiled up
  8. Is the supply lead set up so that it is not a hazard for people walking near the boat?
  9. Is the supply lead located where it will not be damaged or subjected to high winds?

For more advice, call ESV on (03) 9203 9700 or 1800 652 563, or email info@esv.vic.gov.au.

Houseboat fire safety video 

This short video on houseboat fire safety for practical tips on keeping your houseboat fire safe, particularly in terms of using LPG.

See video transcript