Warning over gas heaters after Christchurch man dies from carbon monoxide poisoning

There's a winter warning for those using gas heaters, after it's been found an elderly Christchurch man died after inhaling fumes from one.

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The tips come after an elderly Christchurch man died from inhaling fumes from a gas heater. Source: 1 NEWS

A coroner's found 90-year-old Albert Wylie died of carbon monoxide poisoning in 2015, due to a fault in his LPG cabinet heater and use of it in too small of a space.

Coroner Brigitte Windley said: "If Mr Wylie's LPG heater had been used in an appropriately sized and ventilated space, it is possible his death may have been avoided, or his outcome may have been improved.

"Mr Wylie’s death in circumstances where important safety messages were displayed on the heater, but for whatever reason, were not heeded, highlights the need for ongoing publication and reminders of these safety messages, in particular at the start of each winter season.

"Families and caregivers of the elderly and those with cardio-respiratory vulnerabilities can also play an important part in avoiding harm caused by unsafe operation of LPG heaters."

It is recommended that LPG cabinet heaters should be serviced regularly, and are only used in larger sized rooms, not in bedrooms or bathrooms.

Fire and Emergency NZ's National Advisor for Fire Risk Management Peter Gallagher told 1 NEWS: "Essentially this is just a flame device, so it's burning like any other fire and it's producing carbon monoxide so it's producing carbon monoxide.

"It's slowing filling the room up and with carbon monoxide you don't feel the affects of the gas it just makes you fall into a deeper and deeper sleep so it's really important the room is well ventilated".

Mr Gallagher said the heaters are safe, provided the manufacturer's instructions are followed.