Energy safety at work

Information and tips about gas and electricity safety in order to create an energy safe working environment.

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Electricity safety at work

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Follow these tips to create an energy safe working environment

  • If you have a faulty appliance, call a registered electrician or appliance repair technician to fix it. Trying to fix them yourself is potentially very dangerous.
  • Don't overload power points.
  • Too many appliances connected to the same power point are potentially dangerous.
  • Power leads in good shape? If you see broken or cracked insulation on the power lead for an appliance, don't use it, and arrange to have it fixed.
  • With light fittings, make sure the bulbs don't exceed the recommended wattage for the fitting or the shade.
  • Don't use portable electrical appliances around water.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets with lots of plugs.
  • When operating tall machinery such as cranes or climbing on top of roofs remember to look up and keep well clear of power lines.
  • Check before you dig! If you are a renovator or work for a trade that is involved in residential and commercial projects then you need to make sure you identify any underground wires or services before you start any excavation work. Your network company should be able to assist with information on underground services.
  • Beware of ladders with aluminum parts – if they come into contact with power lines they will act as conductors of electricity. Remember it's safer and easier to carry your ladder horizontally when moving around.

Gas safety at work

Gas is an instant, reliable, efficient and safe form of energy.

However, like any form of energy, it must be treated with respect to prevent accidents. To help ensure you get the most out of your gas supply we have included some safety information below.

Install safely

All gas appliances and fittings are capable of operating safely when installed correctly and used for their intended purpose.

  • Always get a licensed gas fitter to install your gas appliances or alter your gas supply. Ask to see their current licence.
  • A licensed gas fitter will ensure that your gas appliance or installation is connected correctly, has adequate ventilation, is appropriately flued and is in good working order.
  • A gas fitting certificate is required for all new gas installations and alterations to existing installations in your home. Make sure your licensed gas fitter gives you a certificate to confirm the work was completed safely and in accordance with the regulations and manufacturer's instructions.
  • If you haven't got a gas certificate, you can request one from the licensed gas fitter or company that carried out the work. Alternatively, request a copy from Energy Safety.

Maintain regularly

Consumers and homeowners, including landlords and tenants, are responsible for ensuring the safe operation and maintenance of their gas appliances and equipment. To ensure the safety and efficiency of your gas appliance get it checked regularly, preferably by an authorised and competent person:

  • Gas appliances need regular servicing. Check your manual or contact the appliance retailer to find out how often the appliance should be serviced.
  • It is strongly recommended that all gas appliances are serviced annually in particular space heating appliances.
  • Whenever a licensed gas fitter is working in your home, get them to check that your gas appliances and installations is safe. (Note: your plumber may also be a  registered gas fitter and may be able to carry out these checks).

How to tell if there is a gas leak?

In New Zealand natural gas and LPG are odorised to make them easily detectable in the event of a leak. In extremely rare cases however, this 'rotten egg' like smell may be reduced, or may not be noticeable at all. The level of odorisation is regularly monitored by the network companies. If at any stage it is found that the smell is significantly reduced or not noticeable, we will notify you as soon as we are aware of this.

What to do in a Gas Emergency?

If you suspect your gas appliances are faulty or leaking (even though you may not be able to smell gas), immediately turn off your gas supply at the meter or LPG bottles and contact a registered Gas Fitter (who can be easily found in the Yellow Pages under "Gas Fitter").

  • To turn off your metered gas supply, turn the valve handle to Horizontal (level with the ground). You may need a spanner to do this
  • To turn off your LPG bottled supply, turn the valve clockwise until it closes completely.
  • If the smell is coming from or around your gas meter or bottles, turn them off immediately and call Genesis Energy on 0800 300 400 and press option 1. Remember call us from a neighbouring property if possible as your property may be unsafe to remain in.

Some things to do whenever you smell gas

  • Check your gas appliances are turned off.
  • Extinguish all naked flames - cigarettes, open fires, matches or lighters.
  • Do not turn any electrical appliances or switches off or on. This includes mobile phones.
  • Contact us on 0800 300 400 and press option 1.
  • If the smell is in the house and it is safe to do so, open all the doors and windows to ventilate the area.
  • Do not turn your gas supply or appliances on again until a registered Gas Fitter has visited your property and ensured it is safe.

Additional information

To help make sure gas appliances are used safely, Energy Safety (ES) in association with the Gas Association of New Zealand, the LPG Association and the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drain Layers Board, has published an easy-to-read consumer leaflet, Living Safely with Gas.

This leaflet contains important safety information for households where gas appliances are used and installed. It provides information on the following topics:

  • Safe installation
  • The importance of ventilation
  • Carbon monoxide - what to look out for
  • Regular maintenance
  • What to do if you smell gas

Anyone who owns or uses gas and LPG appliances will find the information useful. Copies of the pamphlet can be ordered by visiting the Energy Safety Service website.

Call us on 0800 300 400 or email us.