How to safely set up outdoor heaters

In winter, gas heaters and open fires are great additions to your outdoor entertaining area. While it’s lovely basking in their warmth, it’s important to be mindful of safety. The team at Fiammetta share their top hints and tips.

Set up correctly

When setting up your outdoor gas heater, position it in a well-ventilated area, on flat, level and stable ground.

Be mindful that gas heaters generate excellent radiant heat, so they need plenty of clearance from combustible materials such as overhead ceilings, awnings or shade sails. Be sure to check the required clearances on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Never take your outdoor gas heater indoors. These are designed specifically for open-air use.

Check gas cylinder for leaks

Before each use, check the gas cylinder for leaks.

It’s also important to check the cylinder to regulator connection for leaks. This is easy to do. Make a soap solution of one part liquid detergent and one part water. Ensure the valve on the gas cylinder is off.  Then open the gas cylinder valve and using a soft bristle brush apply the water/detergent solution to the gas connection. If there’s a gas leak, soap bubbles will appear.

If that happens, turn off the gas immediately. Tighten leaking fittings and then re-check. Don’t operate the appliance until all gas leaks have been fixed.

Regularly check the hose fittings for any faults or signs of wear and tear. Replace anything that’s not in top condition Always store gas cylinders outdoors and in a secure, well ventilated, but covered location. 

Burn your fire safely

Before installing or purchasing a fireplace or firepit check the appropriate authorities in your area for regulations about burning outdoors.

Always install your firepit or outdoor fireplace on a stable, level and non-combustible surface such as concrete or brick. Once lit, never leave your fire unattended.  Be wary of sparks. Use a screen. Always have a fire extinguisher handy, and be sure it’s in working order.

It’s a messy job, but get into the habit of cleaning your firepit and fireplace regularly.  Remove and dispose of ash. Always check there are no live embers or coals when you do this. Use a metal container to store and carry the ash. Check and clean the fireplace flue too, that way you avoid sooty build up that could catch alight.

For the best fire, select good quality, dry wood to burn.  Hardwood is best because it burns hotter, more completely and creates less smoke. Don’t use treated pine. And don’t use accelerants such as petrol to light or rekindle the fire.

When cooking on your outdoor fireplace, use quality utensils that have long handles and are made from cast iron.

Always watch children and pets around outdoor heaters and particularly open fires.  And always read the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Get your outdoor heater

Check out the full range of Fiammetta outdoor heaters available at your local Bunnings store.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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