Gas safety for events

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is the fuel used by many catering vendors for heating and cooling purposes.

However this risk along with any others associated with the event is to be managed first and foremost by you as the event organiser who has the overall responsibility for the safety of the patrons and contractors at the site.

The Code of Practice

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) oversees the safe use of gas appliances, their connection, location and use at events.

An ESV inspector may attend prior to and during an event to check for unsafe or non-complying situations.

ESV’s 2009 Code of Practice for the Safe Use of LPG at Public Events in Victoria applies to events such as major sporting and entertainment events and festivals, to school and church fetes, local markets and other non-profit group functions.

Event organisers have a duty of care under occupational health and safety legislation to provide a safe operational environment. In relation to gas safety, this can be achieved by ensuring that all gas installations are safe, certified and comply with current regulations and safety standards.

Event organisers are advised to provide a Gas Safety at Public Events Checklist for gas appliances. The checklist is available on the Energy Safe Victoria website. The event organiser should ensure that each vendor returns the checklist to the event organiser and that a copy is kept on site at all times.

The ESV Code of Practice should be used as a planning guide and risk management tool for all events where LPGas will be used. The intent of the Code of Practice is to ensure an acceptable level of gas safety and minimise the possibility of gas-related incidents.

The Code should be used in conjunction with the Australian and New Zealand Standard 1596, AS 5601 and WorkSafe’s ‘Advice for Managing Events Safely’ and all relevant codes within.


Size, position and grouping of gas cylinders

  • The allowable size, position and group of gas cylinders at event sites are provided in Section 8 Gas Limits within Building and Structures Table 1, Code of Practice. 

Definition of suitable temporary structures to house gas appliances within and ventilation requirements

  • a temporary structure is defined as a marquee, tent, booth, awning, or a structure

  • a temporary structure that is suitable to house a gas appliance must comply with Figure 1 Examples Of Temporary Structures for LP Gas Appliances, Code of Practice

  • a suitable temporary structure must have:

    • 2 sides open or

    • 1 side open equal to 25% of the total wall area and 30% of the remaining total wall area is open and unrestricted - Section 1.7 Structures, Code of Practice.

  • high and low level ventilation opening in structures must be provided to ensure adequate air dilution of combustible products and venting of gas. Refer to Section 6.14 Appliance Ventilation, Code of Practice for the formula to calculate ventilation openings required 

Distances and positions of gas appliances and combustible materials (structures)

It is important that the position of gas appliances and combustible materials, such as marquees are controlled on site.  6.7 Figure 3 of the Code of Practice advises what the legal clearances are for the following appliances:

  • open griddles, barbecues and char grillers

  • hot plates and range ring burners

  • deep fryers and solid grill plates

  • the side and backs of the appliances listed above and oven warmers.

All appliances should display their approval badge as being certified. Section 6 Gas Appliance Installation and Connection of the Code of Practice provides examples of appliance approval badges.

All appliances should be suitable for use in a commercial and temporary environment.

Storage of cylinders: AS/ANZ

Cylinders must be:

  • inspected for leaks prior to their use, for example: by using a non ammonia based soap (or detergent) and water leak test at all joints.  All soap should be rinsed thoroughly from fittings after testing.

  • kept at least 3 metres from oxidizing gases, except where the cylinders of LPGas and oxidising gas from part of a portable oxy-fuel system used for welding, brazing, cutting and the like

  • kept in a location that does not hinder the escape of people and is away from any combustible or waste materials

  • chained, kept upright at all times and on a flat surface

  • located so that they are not likely to be damaged or dislodged under normal circumstances of use. Any trolley or stand in which the cylinder is housed shall be of metal construction and of adequate stability.

  • protected from excessive temperature rise

  • protected from physical impact

  • stored with all cylinder valves closed when not in use.

Section 2 Australian and New Zealand Standard 1596:2008

For further information refer to the Australian Standards and/or the Code of Practice for the Safe Use of LPGas at Public Events in Victoria and Public Events Catering Vendors Information Pack both of which can be downloaded form the Energy safe Website or more information contact:

Energy Safe Victoria – Geelong: Laurie Devitt
Level 2, Unit 201, 78 Moorabool Street Geelong 3220
Telephone: 03 5222 5168 or 0419 181 558
Fax: 03 5221 3936
Email: [email protected]
Energy Safe Victoria
Level 5, Building 2, 4 Riverside Quay, Southbank Victoria 3006
Telephone: 03 9203 9700
Fax: 03 9686 2197
Email: [email protected]

Page last updated: Thursday, 28 May 2020