Take precautions using portable gas stoves, warns NSWFB Commissioner

Published: 8th March 2006

NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) Commissioner Greg Mullins warned householders to take precautions when using portable gas stoves after a number of fires involving the appliances.

Commissioner Mullins said the NSWFB had attended a number of incidents where misuse of portable gas stoves had led to an explosion and injuries.

A recent incident saw eight people injured, two seriously, as a result of the misuse of a portable gas stove in Lidcombe in late January 2006. A family had placed three portable gas stoves on a table in their residence and had, incorrectly, stored a spare gas cylinder underneath one of the stoves’ burners. As soon as the stove was turned on and a pot placed on top of it, the spare cylinder blew up. Eight people suffered from burns. Two were seriously injured.

"It is essential that this type of stove is used carefully to avoid injury and death," Commissioner Mullins said.

"One of the main precautions is to ensure you only use the portable gas stove outdoors. Never use it inside the house.

"Among the other safety measures are:

  • Always read and follow any instructions that come with the stove;
  • Never store spare gas containers in the stove;
  • Always take the stove out of the box before using it;
  • Always use in a ventilated area;
  • Never leave the stove operating while unattended; and
  • Never allow children to operate the stove.

"Remember, working smoke alarms will become compulsory for all homes in NSW from 1 May 2006," Commissioner Mullins said.

For more information, contact your local NSWFB fire station or go to the web site www.fire.nsw.gov.au. In case of emergency, ring Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Media contacts: Mr Benseon Apple on (02) 9265 2631 or 0408 877 479.