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As the wet season approaches, health and safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Now more than ever, business owners and building managers should be ensuring that buildings are safe whether it’s restaurants, gyms, offices, or other buildings.

 Flooded roads in West End, Brisbane, Feb 22.

MPAQ, the peak industry body representing the plumbing and gas industry in Queensland, warns that burners, airways, and flue ways can become partially blocked and adversely affect appliance ignition, combustion, and overall gas safety when they have been exposed to flood waters.

Gas systems, appliances, components, and fittings that have been inundated with water may have residue water within the operating parts and cause the equipment to not work correctly.

Burners and heat shields within barbeques and other outdoor appliances can become dislodged, causing incorrect or unsafe operation if used. Gas cylinders that have moved or dislodged, breaking or damaging gas hose assemblies, may cause a gas leak when used.

They advise that specialists should be called in to check gas meters as soon as it is safe to do so and if there is significant damage to their assets, they will need to be repaired.

If a customer’s pipework fails a pressure test or their appliances are faulty, or appear to be badly affected by flood damage, then it will need to be disconnected and a licensed gasfitter contacted.

MPAQ’s president and licensed plumber and gas-fitter, Kent Vickers, said that these issues with appliances could lead to serious injuries and health concerns.

“We recommend that a licensed gas fitting professional ensures that a building’s gas system is thoroughly checked and cleared in accordance with gas standards before occupancy resumes,” Mr Vickers said.

“The dangers of not having these types of appliances and systems tested include poor ignition, production of toxic gasses due to incomplete combustion, spillage of combustion products into the room and the possibility of gas leaks from appliances that have been damaged during a flood.”

It is very important, before a building reopens to check the condition of equipment and that facilities are fully functioning, such as gas, electricity, toilets, and handwashing facilities.

Mr Vickers advised people to contact their local licensed plumber and/or gasfitter to get the testing completed safely and accurately.

“Getting the gas and water systems checked by a licensed plumber and gasfitter will provide peace of mind, especially if your building has been inundated with water.”

MPAQ also recently released information about the importance of using a licensed professional to flush out water systems before reopening businesses to prevent issues caused by water contamination.

For further information contact: Ernie Kretschmer, Technical Services Manager, Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland, T: (07) 3273 0800