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An outdoor kitchen is one that is not obstructed by other buildings or structures, that facilitates correct combustion and allows the products of gas combustion, or similar, to be readily dispersed into the atmosphere.
An alfresco area, verandah or balcony is considered outdoors when it is open-air and has natural ventilation. This ensures stagnant areas do not form as these prevent the products of combustion from being rapidly dispersed by wind and natural convection.
In the unlikely event of a gas leak occurring, a well-ventilated area will allow escaping gases to disperse rapidly.
The following situations are considered to provide the natural ventilation required for an outdoor domestic barbecue:
For these installations, the barbecue may be connected by a flexible hose to a natural gas bayonet point or similar fitting, through fixed connections to gas piping or by connection to an LP gas cylinder.
If the area to be used does not meet the standards above, then it should be treated as an indoor area. This may also occur where the client indicates that they intend to install plastic blinds or solid panels, creating a ‘quasi-indoor’ situation.
In these cases a minimum opening of not less than 10% is required to the perimeter, and if outdoor barbecues are to be used then mechanical extraction should be installed.
Combustion products must be exhausted to the atmosphere via an exhaust canopy interlocked to the gas supply, which has been designed and installed by an appropriately licensed person.
The extraction fan requires grease filters and a 1200mm clearance above the barbecue. The extraction air rate should typically be 60L/s and the fan/electrics appropriately heat rated.
An air pressure switch to monitor the exhaust fan airflow is required to be interlocked back to a Class 1 solenoid valve where the barbecue has flame supervision on all burners. Alternatively, a gas proving system and Class 1 solenoid valve for barbecues without flame supervision on all burners should be installed. A manual ¼ turn gas ball valve on the gas supply line to the barbecues is also necessary.
Gas barbecues need adequate ventilation to ensure there is sufficient air for combustion (for gas to burn safely) and to dilute the products of combustion to safe levels. Where barbecues are used in an outdoor area, there is usually adequate natural ventilation. However there may be some ‘semi-outdoor’ situations where there is inadequate ventilation and the use of barbecues in these areas is therefore not recommended.
Outdoor gas barbecues and other appliances are generally not designed or certified for use in enclosed areas. They are not required to be tested to the same Australian Standards for combustion emissions and temperature hazards as indoor gas appliances.
It is important to consider how much air can enter your outdoor kitchen area before you decide to install any gas appliances. If ventilation is not good, then electric appliances should be considered as an alternative.
Other requirements for gas barbecues installed indoors or outdoors include the following:
Gas appliances should be checked regularly by a qualified person. This ensures that they continue to operate safely and efficiently. Always use a licensed gasfitter to install, repair, service or remove gas appliances.
When buying a gas appliance, look for safety features such as flame failure devices, which cut off the gas if the flame is accidentally extinguished and automatic re-ignition, which allows the appliance to relight itself if the flame is accidentally extinguished.
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