South African homeowners are considering gas in their homes as a result of Increasing costs in electricity. People are unaware that there are specific regulations that must be complied with to ensure that insurance policies remain valid.
A certificate states that the installation has been properly inspected and is determined to be safe and leak free. An authorised person who is registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS) must issue the certificate.
Any person who has a liquid gas installation in their home must have this certificate as per regulations. This is usually obtained during the installation phase. Homeowners need to know that the onus is on them to ensure that they have this certificate in their possession, not the installer.
If your home is damaged or destroyed, as a result of a defective appliance – and you do not have a valid certificate issued by someone registered with LPGAS – the insurance implications could be significant. An insurance company would be well within their rights to repudiate a claim, which could have severe financial repercussions for the home-owner.
Regulations for gas installations:
Gas bottles may not be installed:
• Less than 1 metre sideways from doors and windows
• Less than 2 metres from drains and air vents
• Less than 3 metres below windows (unless a non-combustible roof is installed)
• Less than 1 metre from the property boundary wall (unless it is a fire wall)
• Less than 5 metres sideways away from a switchable electric point or plug switch;
• Light bulbs cannot be less than 1.5 metres above a gas bottle.
Other installation rules:
Only class 1 or 2 copper pipes, or other approved gas piping, may be used (Note: This is not the same copper piping as used by plumbers)
• Copper pipes going through a wall must be sleeved
• Approved flexible gas hose may not be more than two meters long and may not go through any partition (including wood, dry wall, cupboard wall etc)
If you suspect your gas appliance is unsafe it is best to turn the appliance off immediately. Do not touch it until it has been checked by a registered gas engineer. Open all the doors and windows to air out the room. Ensure that you have shut off the supply at the meter control valve.