In early March last year we reported that the lunchbox style butane gas stoves that most of us have in our camping kit had been banned from sale by the NSW Office of Fair Trading.
This followed the death of a 33 year old man who received 100 percent burns to his body when the stove he was using exploded in his caravan annexe at Casino, NSW.
The recommendation then was that owners should discontinue their cookers due to the risk of them exploding due to a potential fault in the safety cutoff mechanism.
Last week the Queensland Government renewed this warning following two explosions of the popular cookers in Far North Queensland.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, advises that "Anyone who bought one of these butane gas lunchbox cookers manufactured before July 2015 should stop using it and dispose of it, they are potentially lethal."
“Many models of these were recalled last year. I am now expanding that warning to any cooker manufactured before July 2015, when manufacturing standards changed.
“Check the compliance plate on the sides or underneath the cooker, and put your safety, and the safety of your family and friends first.
“Dispose of it, spend the $20-25 for a new one, and be safe rather than sorry.”
It's believed that there are more than one million stoves in circulation that were manufactured before July 2015.
The so-called “lunchbox” cookers use a butane gas canister that should eject when the gas canister overheats. Many models were recalled nationally in mid-2015 because the safety mechanism didn’t work.
Overheating is often caused by pots or pans being used that are too large and they cover the gas canister compartment. The reflected heat from the pot or pan overheats the butane cartridge which can cause it to explode if the safety shut off mechanism fails.
In this video below you can see the result when a stove is deliberately overheated.