Gas appliances are used by the industry, various professionals and ordinary people.
In the industrial and professional context gas is used by qualified personnel and installations are carried out by approved gas installation companies.
Private people use gas in places including holiday homes and boats, caravans and gardens.
n private use in particular it is important for safety reasons to know the basics of gas use and gas appliances.
How to identify a safe gas appliance
To find out if a gas appliance is correct and safe for your intended use, check the markings and user instructions provided with the appliance.
From the consumer perspective the most important markings on a gas appliance are:
- the CE marking, which is the manufacturer's assurance that the gas appliance meets the essential requirements set for it;
- the markings identifying the manufacturer;
- the appliance category, which is given as a code (in Finland I2H for natural gas and IP/B for liquefied petroleum gas), with the words natural gas and/or propane/butane used in most cases;
- operating pressure (20 mbar for natural gas and 30 mbar for liquefied petroleum gas).
Issues that need to be taken into consideration when taking the appliance into use and using it are covered by the instructions for use and servicing. These instructions must be provided in Finnish or Swedish.
Gas appliance safety
The user safety of a gas appliance depends on the following key issues:
- The appliance must only be used for its intended purpose.
- Only the type of gas and the gas supply pressure that the appliance has been designed and set up for must be used with the appliance.
- The appliance must be installed in accordance with the instructions provided.
- The appliance must be regularly serviced.
Where to place the appliance
Gas appliances must only be placed in areas where there is sufficient ventilation. Existing ventilation openings must not be blocked. Any guidelines provided in the user instructions regarding the size of the premises in which the appliance is placed must always be followed. You should remember that lethally toxic carbon monoxide is created if there is not enough combustion air.
How to look after your gas appliance
In most cases normal cleaning is enough as a maintenance measure for gas appliances. If the appliance has been out of use for a longer period of time, you should inspect it visually to make sure there is no dirt, debris or blockages caused by insects or spider's webs.
You should have the appliance checked by an authorised company if you detect any malfunctioning during its use.
Gas installations and installations by laypersons
Fixed installations may only be performed by gas installation companies approved by Tukes. Exceptions to this are minor liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) installations where LPG is supplied to the appliance using a hose. These "layperson's installations" do not require an approved gas installation company.
Gas installation companies operating in Finland are approved on application by Tukes, which also maintains a register of them.
The components included in a layperson's installation are:
- a gas cylinder, including the pressure regulator;
- a gas hose, maximum length 1.2m;
- if the hose is to pass through a wall, a metal sleeve or bushing to protect the hose;
- a metal T-piece and shutter valves;
- a gas-burning appliance.
It is very important that you know what you are doing if planning to install a gas appliance. If you have any doubts about your skills, you should call in an approved installation company.