Standards Australia recently revised Australia’s lead standard for gas installations (AS/NZS 5601.1, Gas installations, Part 1: General installations) to help mitigate the risk of property damage or house fires where multi-layer gas pipes have been installed.
Other safety measures include prohibiting the installation of multi-layer pipes above ground, external to buildings – an especially critical advancement for construction in bush-fire prone areas. The prohibition was prompted by feedback from industry, which cited several cases where unprotected multi-layer piping had resulted in UV damage, subsequently compromising the structure of the gas pipe.
Importantly, the standard also specifies that a valve be installed at or near the gas supply point for new domestic homes and other types of buildings, including multi-storey apartments. The addition is intended to improve safety by shutting off gas supply to a building if an active fire safety system is operated.
“The objective of this standard is to provide essential requirements and deemed-to-conform solutions, and to promote uniform standards of gas installation,” explained Enzo Alfonsetti, chair of AG-006, the committee responsible for the standard.
“Standards Australia and the committee consulted with forensic fire investigators and used data from testing, both of which supported the need to implement this significant change.”
Other changes to the standard include raising the clearance height between cooking appliances and overhead horizontal combustible surfaces from 600mm to 650,, for new kitchen builds, to align with the international standard for range-hoods.
AG-006 also updated the standard requirements on where flue terminals can be installed in undercover areas such as apartment balconies – to assist in minimizing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.