Ballarat man dies using patio heater inside
Firefighters were called at 2.44pm and detected the presence of gas through a small gap in a window, before they broke in and found the man in his lounge room.
Police were called and established a crime scene at the home, before inspectors from Energy Safe Victoria arrived later in the day. The man’s death has been deemed accidental.
Police believe the man placed an outdoor patio heater, connected to a 9 kilogram gas cylinder, inside the lounge room for heating.
He was found dead in front of his television.
Energy Safe Victoria Safety director Paul Fearon said inspectors would return to the property today to continue investigations.
Police say the man, 40, was found dead in his Newington home on Saturday afternoon after CFA crews forced their way into the property.
Mr Fearon said carbon monoxide, on average, killed one person each year in Victoria but contributed to health issues for hundreds more.
“It’s not just a fatality issue, it’s a public health issue,” he said.
“You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it, carbon monoxide is a silent killer.” Mr Fearon said outdoor gas heaters and barbecues should never be brought inside.
“It’s not just the carbon monoxide, if you bring those things inside, the oxygen depletion can kill you,” he said.
“The golden rule is if a piece of equipment is attached to a gas bottle don’t bring it inside.”
In 2010, two boys died from carbon monoxide poisoning in their Mooroopna home. Their mother was also severely poisoned.
While the weekend’s death in Ballarat wasn’t under the same circumstances, Mr Fearon said it was a reminder for people to be wary of the deadly gas.
“People should geut their gas heaters serviced every two years,” he said.
“Heaters that are not serviced are not only inefficient and costly – they’re also more likely to produce carbon monoxide.”
For information on safety around gas, visit www.esv.vic.gov.au.