The Australian Gas Association and Energy Safe Victoria have suspended the certification for the Pyrox and Vulcan 48 Series space heaters until further notice.
These heaters have been withdrawn from sale in Australia.
Tests indicate that, under certain conditions, the heater can produce unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.
More than 10 per cent of the state's public housing gas heaters are affected. We are working as fast as we can to install new permanent heating, however this will take some time.
Temporary heating is being provided for public housing tenants who have had an interruption to their gas heating service following disconnection of their gas heater.
In recognition that electricity costs may have increased as a result of using temporary electric heating during winter, the Director of Housing will be providing eligible public housing tenants with a lump-sum rent reduction of $302. Specific details will be provided to tenants as the department completes the assessments.
Tenants should also be experiencing a decrease in gas bills as a result of having their heater disconnected.
Public housing tenants may also qualify for other support provided by the government to help pay energy bills, such as the Annual Electricity Concession and the Utility Relief Grant Scheme. For information on these options, visit Concessions and benefits on our Services website or call 1800 658 521 (toll free).
Energy Safety Victoria has more information on the Vulcan Heritage gas heaters, carbon monoxide (CO) and open flue gas heaters generally on their website. They also have details on how people not living in public housing can organise a heater test.
If you are using temporary heating whilst waiting for a new permanent heater to be installed:
- Never use or store gas cylinders indoors
- Patio heaters and barbecues should never be used indoors
- Never use your oven as a heat source to keep warm.
Any of these practices can increase the risk of poisoning from carbon monoxide gas.
Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that may affect your health if you breathe it in. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor or contact NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24 (24 hours a day). In an emergency, call 000.
More information about the health and safety issues of gas heating is on our Better Health Channel website.