GAS HEATER SAFETY NOTICE

CANNON FITZROY AND CANTERBURY INBUILT GAS HEATERS

 

Gas heaters provide safe and economical heating for millions of Australian families.

As a leader in the Australian gas heating industry for over 60 years, Cannon is committed to your safety.

Laboratory testing suggests it may be possible that Cannon Fitzroy or Canterbury inbuilt gas heaters built between 20 March 2001 and 8 October 2009 under AGA Approval 6118 could produce potentially hazardous levels of carbon monoxide if the heater is subjected to certain conditions, including the operation of range hoods and other exhaust fans.  This risk may be increased if the inbuilt heater has not been installed properly, or if it has not been serviced regularly, or if your house is tightly sealed.

The build date and AGA Approval number of the heater appear on the heater’s ratings label, which is located within the lower fan chamber, and which a suitably qualified person can access by removing the lower fascia panel of the heater.

If you think you have one of these heaters, please call Cannon on           1800 035 410 to arrange for it to be checked at Cannon’s expense.  You should not use your heater until it has been checked.

If you had your Cannon inbuilt heater checked in response to the safety message published in June, you may be eligible for a contribution by Cannon towards the cost of having your heater checked if:

  • If no carbon monoxide spillage was detected, Cannon will reimburse up to $150 towards the costs of the call-out and testing.
  • If carbon monoxide spillage was detected, Cannon will reimburse the heater owner the full cost of testing and rectifying the defect.
  • If carbon monoxide spillage was detected, it was not possible to rectify the defect and the heater owner advised Cannon of the situation and gave Cannon a reasonable opportunity to respond, Cannon will reimburse the full cost of the testing and refund at least $200 in compensation for the heater.

For more information, consult the FAQ section below, or:

Freecall:               1800 035 410

Email:                    cannon@ixl.com.au
                               

Please include in your email:

  • Name
  • Address where heater installed?
  • Contact phone number?
  • Model of the heater (This may be found on the instruction manual)
  • Proof of purchase (not mandatory)

Your questions answered

1. I heard reports in the media about the safety of Cannon gas heaters. What is the problem?

  • Cannon became aware of laboratory results suggesting it was possible certain old models of inbuilt Cannon heaters could produce potentially hazardous levels of carbon monoxide if the heater is subjected to certain conditions, including the operation of range hoods and other exhaust fans. This risk may be increased if the inbuilt heater has not been installed properly, or if it has not been serviced regularly, or if your house is tightly sealed.
  • Cannon’s view is that these risks are relevant to all naturally flued gas heaters.
  • It is also important to understand that collectively these heaters have been used in homes for millions of hours over the last 14 years and there is no evidence that anyone ever has been harmed. However, in the interests of putting safety first, if you have a heater that is covered by the safety notice, you should not use it until you have it checked as a precaution. 

2. Why did Cannon recall these heaters?

  • Cannon did not recall these heaters. This is simply a safety notice asking the owners of the heaters covered by the notice to have them checked as a precaution.

3. Why is Cannon contacting people about these heaters again?

  • Cannon estimates that less than 1000 people have had their heaters tested since publication of the first safety notice and that there could be a large number of relevant heaters that remain untested.
  • Cannon is following up its earlier safety message to bring the issue to the attention of those people who have not already had their heaters tested.

4. I’ve got a Cannon heater in my home – am I affected?

  • This safety notice only relates to some Cannon heaters.
  • The relevant models are Cannon Fitzroy and Canterbury inbuilt gas heaters manufactured between 20 March 2001 and 8 October 2009 under AGA Approval 6118.
  • If your heater was purchased in the last six years, you don’t need to do anything in respect of this safety notice, but you do need to remember to have your heater checked and serviced every two years (as recommended by ESV and other safety regulators).
  • If your heater is an older model, you should check to see if it is one of the models listed above. You also need to remember to have it checked and serviced every two years.

5. How do I know if my heater is affected?

  • You need to examine the build date and AGA Approval number of the heater, which appear on the heater’s ratings label. This is located within the lower fan chamber which a suitably qualified person can access by removing the lower fascia panel of the heater.

6.  If my heater is affected by the safety notice and I have not had    it checked, what do I need to do?

  • You should not use your heater until you have had it checked.
  • Call 1800 035 410 and we will arrange for a qualified technician to check the safety of your heater.

7. Is Cannon going to pay to have my heater checked?

  • Yes, Cannon will organise and pay the costs of the call-out and testing.  Cannon will also pay to rectify the heater if the heater is emitting carbon monoxide into the room and this is due to the manufacture of the heater itself.
  • Cannon will not pay to rectify a faulty chimney, faulty installation (including where the heater spills carbon monoxide only under negative pressure) or repair heaters that have not been properly maintained or have faults unrelated to spillage of carbon monoxide.
  • Gas safety regulators and Cannon recommend that the owners of all gas heaters have them checked and serviced every two years.  This is the responsibility of the heater owner.
     

8. What is negative pressure?

  • Most gas heaters are designed to burn using air drawn from the room. Rising hot air expels the products of combustion (smoke and gases) up the flue (or chimney) and into the outside air.  Range hoods and exhaust fans can compromise this process, as they suck air from the room and expel it outside. This air has to be replaced and must come from somewhere. In many houses, this replacement air will come through gaps such as those around doors and windows. However, in a tightly sealed house with a flued heater and a strong exhaust fan, the only source of replacement air may be the flue or chimney in which case the heater’s exhaust gases, including carbon monoxide, may be drawn into the room rather than up the flue.
  • This phenomenon is called ‘negative pressure’ because the exhaust fan reduces the air pressure in the home to less than that outside the home, enabling air and gases to be drawn into the house from the flue.  Building standards prohibit the creation of negative pressure in a home.  Rectifying negative pressure is the homeowner’s responsibility.
  • Energy safety regulators have developed simple tests to identify negative pressure in the home.  These tests should be carried out when any gas heater is serviced.
     

9. What if I paid to have my heater checked following the previous safety message?

  • Where Cannon heater owners paid to have their heaters checked in response to the safety message published in June:
    • If no carbon monoxide spillage was detected, Cannon will reimburse up to $150 towards the costs of the call-out and testing.
    • If carbon monoxide spillage was detected, Cannon will reimburse the heater owner the full cost of testing and rectifying the defect.
    • If carbon monoxide spillage was detected, it was not possible to rectify the defect and the heater owner advised Cannon of the situation and gave Cannon a reasonable opportunity to respond, Cannon will reimburse the full cost of the testing and refund at least $200 in compensation for the heater.

10.   Why didn’t Cannon pay to have my heater tested in the first place?

  • At the time the original notice was published, Cannon’s view was that the owners should be responsible for the test. This view was based on the fact that any problems with negative pressure, chimneys or heaters should be revealed when the heaters are serviced, which it is recommended that owners do every two years.
  • However, Cannon estimates that less than 1000 people have had their heaters tested since publication of the first safety notice and that there could be a large number of relevant heaters that remain untested.
  • In order to maximise the number of heaters tested, Cannon has agreed to cover the cost of testing those heaters that haven’t already been tested.  In addition, Cannon decided it was only fair to reimburse owners who had their heaters tested in response to the earlier safety message.  The amount to be reimbursed is up to $150.

11. How do I prevent my heater developing safety issues?

  • Make sure you have it checked and serviced every two years as recommended by energy safety regulators.

Click here to view information concerning the safety message published in June 2015