What is an interlocking device?

Outdoor Alfresco Kitchens Melbourne
timitch control interlocking

The Timitch interlocking controller is a unique electronic device designed to measure currents. It can sense when the motors on an exhaust hood/range hood are on, which then activates a relay that sends power down to the solenoid.

To have an indoor barbecue, you need to have the bbq and exhaust hood working together as a system to extract the fumes out of the room while the barbecue is working. That’s why an interlock system is created using our Timitch controller. It won’t let any gas into the barbecue unless the exhaust hood is on.

Please note that the barbecue must be correctly installed by a licenced plumber into the gas line with the isolation valve. The solenoid must be connected by a qualified electrician who connects this via a wire concealed in the wall cavity. Please ensure that your electrician correctly adjusts the electrical current so that the interlocking system is triggered by the fan of the exhaust hood, not the lights. This allows for the lights on the Exhaust hood to remain on or off as required without shutting down the bbq.

And that’s how the interlock system works on the exhaust hood. It will make it safe for you to have an enclosed room of the alfresco with an indoor barbecue that is compliant with state laws. 

Enclosed Alfresco example
Enclosed Alfresco Example
Information on Alfresco Rooms
Information on Alfresco Rooms

What is Gas Appliance Certification & Labelling?

♦ Gas appliances must be certified as safe for use in Australia.  

♦ It is illegal to offer gas appliances for sale or hire unless they have been safety tested and certified.

♦ Gas appliance manufacturers have to submit each of their models for testing.

♦ Testing is done by independent test organisations.

♦ The tests must be completed successfully prior to any sales.

♦ The Australian Standards specifiy the testing criteria.

♦ Amongst the tested items are emissions and energy efficiency.

The Testing Organisations

Gas appliances used in Australia must be tested and certified by a recognised testing organisation.  

These testing organisations include:

Australian Gas Association certification labelsThe Australian Gas Association: www.gas.asn.au  

SAI Global: www.standardsmark.com  

IAPMO R&T Oceana: www.iapmooceana.org  

Global-Mark: www.global-mark.com.au

Queensland Gas Association:  www.qga.org.au

What Do They Actually Test?  

The testing is based around compliance with the applicable Australian Standard for the type of gas appliance being tested.  

It involves the product as a whole plus the individual components within the product.  

This includes gas regulators and hoses.

How the Process Works

The testing organisations test products from manufacturers that submit their models for certification.  

The manufacturers must pay for this testing and it can take many months to complete the process.  

In addition, there is no guarantee that the product will pass.  

If it does not, the manufacturer must redesign the product and repeat the certification testing.  

The time and expense involved is why some importers try to cut corners.

Even products that are approved in other countries may not meet the requirements of the Australian Standards or be safe to use.  

Some of the issues include:

Emission Standards  

Australia has strict standards on combustion emissions that may be generated by gas appliances.  

Other countries requirements may not be as stringent or they may not have any at all.


In Australia, the standard valve connector is a POL fitting.  

Other countries use other fittings like QCC and OPD.  

The problem is that many of these may be incompatible with Australian gas fittings.

Banned Products 

Some products that are available in other countries are simply not permitted in Australia.  

Cabinet heaters are a good example.  Cabinet heaters are indoor heaters fuelled by a 9kg cylinder inside.  

While these are perfectly acceptable in NZ and various European countries, they are banned in Australia.

Energy Efficiency:  

Minimum energy efficiency performance standards must be attained.  

Unfortunately, many overseas products cannot perform at the required levels.

Differences in Gas:  

The composition, quality and combustion properties of Australian gas may be different to gas used in other countries.  

For example, LPG in Australia is Propane while, in other countries, it may be Butane or a Butane/Propane mix.

Insufficient User Documentation:  

The appliance must be accompanied by comprehensive installation instructions.

The instructions explain the use and maintenance of the product.

In addition, it contain any required permanent warning notices, which must also appear on the packaging.  

The instructions and warning notices must be in plain English and be supplemented by appropriate diagrams, pictures or drawings. 

Almost everyone has experienced the difficulty that some overseas manufacturers have in writing coherent English instructions for even simple products.  

While these can sometimes be humorous, there is nothing funny and no room for miscommunication when it comes to gas appliance safety.

What You Need to Do

The only way to ensure the safety of the gas appliance you are buying is to check for a certification label like the ones shown above.  

You can also check the certification number against the testing organisation’s database using their websites.

Please take special care if you consider buying gas appliances from individuals or unknown companies found online at auction and shopping website.  

We have seen any number of products being sold on these type of web sites that are uncertified and do not meet Australian Standards.  

This is especially true if the seller is shipping the product to you from overseas.

There are no ‘Gas Appliance Police’, so it is up to each of us to be vigilant and check for certification prior to purchasing any gas appliance.