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Media release: Carbon monoxide found at Port Fairy home after unlicensed service

Heater manufacturer Seacombe Pty Ltd and its production manager Marcel Rappold, were collectively fined $9000 after pleading guilty to unlicensed gas fitting work conducted in February 2021.

Published:
Tuesday 16 April 2024 at 1:13 am

Potentially deadly carbon monoxide was found inside a Port Fairy home after a heater was serviced by a senior employee of the manufacturer who had no gas qualifications.  

Heater manufacturer Seacombe Pty Ltd and its production manager Marcel Rappold, were collectively fined $9000 after pleading guilty to unlicensed gasfitting work conducted in February 2021. 

The Dandenong Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Rappold was not a licensed or qualified gasfitter but did service and maintenance work on a gas log fire after the homeowner complained it was noisy.  

Almost four months later a licensed plumber and gasfitter checked and tested the heater, and identified a carbon monoxide spillage while the appliance was in use.  

An investigation by Energy Safe Victoria found high levels of carbon monoxide were present when the appliance was operating, and that Mr Rappold had fitted a part that was not approved for use in the gas log fire. 

Energy Safe CEO Leanne Hughson warned carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious injuries or death before people even know it is present. 

“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that can’t be seen or smelt when it builds up in enclosed spaces, so it’s incredibly fortunate the homeowner used the gas heater sparingly or the situation could have ended in tragedy,” Ms Hughson said. 

“Qualified gasfitters are trained to test for the presence of carbon monoxide – that helps to keep people safe while unlicensed work can put people in danger.” 

Magistrate Steven Raleigh also highlighted the potentially deadly consequences of gas heaters leaking carbon monoxide. 

In convicting and fining Mr Rappold $5000 and Seacombe $4000, the Magistrate noted the need to make it clear to unregistered and unlicensed people not to work with gas.  

 ENDS  

 

Energy Safe. Always.

 

Media contact: Nicole Butler M: 0477 572 378  E: media@energysafe.vic.gov.au 

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