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Floor mounted bayonet type gas sockets - possible gas leak hazard



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MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

73

SENATOR MICHAEL TATE MEDIA RELEASE

1 November 1991

FLOOR MOUNTED BAYONET TYPE GAS SOCKETS - POSSIBLE GAS LEAK HAZARD The Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Senator Michael Tate, today announced an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs into a possible gas leak hazard associated with

the use of a certain floor mounted bayonet type gas socket.

The gas socket to be investigated was supplied between April 1991 and September 1991 for use with domestic portable gas appliances, operating on either natural gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Such appliances include portable gas rooms heaters and portable gas cooking equipment.

The Minister advised that it was difficult to distinguish the gas socket under investigation from other floor mounted sockets once it was installed.

The socket under investigation has a 6.4 millimetre diameter projection on the brass valve inside the socket when viewed from the open end of the socket. Other distinguishing markings are not visible on the installed socket. The majority are chrome but

brown or beige enamelled versions have been supplied.

The Minister pointed out that there were many similar floor mounted gas sockets which were not the subject of any investigation. He advised that these included:

. those installed prior to 16 April 1991;

. 1 egg shaped1 sockets which have a sticker on the outside marked with the word 1Barfell1; and

. sockets which have two alien keyholes at the back end.

•I emphasise, there is no need for concern unless the gas socket was supplied over the last 6 or 7 months", Senator Tate said.

The investigation follows withdrawal of approval for the socket by the Australian Gas Association. This followed alleged incidents of gas leakage and the failure by some sockets, on retesting, to meet technical specifications relating to the closing of the valve in the socket.

•The investigation will try to ascertain the circumstances under which gas leaks from this socket may occur, the quantities of gas which may leak and the degree of any risk of injury which may result from such leaks', the Minister stated.

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While the investigation is conducted, the Minister advised that any consumers who have these particular sockets installed in their homes should take the following precautionary steps:

. If an appliance is presently plugged into the socket, the appliance should remain plugged into the socket, so that any potential leakage would be prevented by the on-off valve on the appliance;

. If an appliance is not presently plugged into the socket and the smell of gas is detected, an appliance should immediately be plugged into the socket to prevent any further leakage and a gasfitter should be consulted.

NOTE: This release relates to the attached notice published in the Commonwealth Gazette under section 65B of the Trade Practices Ac t .

For further information contact:

JOHN WUNSCH Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs (06) 250 6990

M SKE"1 " Gazette Commonwealth of Australia v d £ v l t C lCommonwealth of Australia Trade Practices Act 1974 Consumer Protection Notice N o . / 7 of 1991 CONSUMER PRODUCT INVESTIGATIONPursuant to section 65B of the Trade Practices Act 1 974, I ,MICHAEL CARTER TATE, Minister of State for Justice and Consumer Affairs, state that the goods specified below are under investigation to determine whether they will or may cause injury to any person.Particulars of Goods:Floor mounted bayonet type gas socket (for use w ith domestic portable gas appliances) supplied between April 1991 and September 1991 which has a 6.4 millimetre diameter projection on the brass valve within the socket.The particular gas socket has the following markings on the underside of the flange:'Barfell KB 330450* or 'Barfell KB 330480' or 'Keeflex 8800400A*However, these markings will not be visible on installed floor mounted gas sockets.The majority of the subject sockets are chrome, but brown and beige enamelled versions have also been supplied.NOTE 1: Although the socket was initially approved by theAustralian Gas Association (AGA), there have since been allegations of gas leaks associated with its . use. As a consequence of these reports and retesting of the socket, approval was withdrawn by the AGA.NOTE 2: There are many similar floor mounted gas socketswhich are NOT subject to this investigation. These include:1. Those installed prior to 16 April 1991;2. Sockets which are ’egg-shaped' and have a sticker with the word 'Barfell' attached to the outside;3. Sockets which have two alien keyholes at the back end. _

Dated this'**A ^tj<<-j^-»

29874 Cat. No. 91 6296 X ISSN 1032-2345 © Commonwealth of Australia 1991

day of 1991.

MICHAEL CARTER TATE Minister of State for Justice and Consumer Affairs