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Old 13-03-2015, 19:22   #1
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Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

The NSW Government in Australia has recalled ALL butane style cookers ( known a lunch box cookers). These are the ones that run on the small portable cylindrical gas canister. The butane cooker usually cost between $10-30 with canisters at approx $5 for 4.

This recall will moat likely cover all of Australia once different states and territories pick up on the safety data. It seems that the failure rate of these was 84% with significant harm as the outcome.

I think the warning from the NSW Government is this is a timely warning to all that use these style cookers to be highly careful and better to appropriately dispose of these style cookers. These butane canister style cookers can no longer be sold in NSW, Australia.

Here is the NSW Government link.
20150304_public_warning_on_portable_butane
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Old 16-03-2015, 21:46   #2
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Interesting. These are sometimes recommended on boating forums. The risk is overheating and possible explosion.
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Old 16-03-2015, 22:18   #3
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

I have one of these in storage that we last used while our kitchen was being remodeled. I still think they're safe enough if you don't leave them on high for a long time (especially with a big overhanging pot or pan). Think I'll hold on to mine for emergencies, but won't be cooking anything that takes a long time on high heat.


I used it for many years when we had a simpler boat without a built-in stove, and it never caused any concern. I wonder how many millions of these are in use and what the statistics on overheating accidents are?
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Old 16-03-2015, 23:53   #4
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

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Originally Posted by brouhaha View Post
It seems that the failure rate of these was 84% with significant harm as the outcome.
Where did you see that? I thought a few events had been reported but there were no statistical figures to quantify the risk. Note that these are all made overseas and no doubt the same as used throughout the world.

I'm sure it must be a miniscule risk percentage, but nevertheless a risk. I know there's a risk in everything .... be nice to have an indication of how much before getting rid of mine.
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Old 17-03-2015, 01:20   #5
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Quick Google indicates that the catalyst for the banning has been one (1) fatality caused by a faulty cooker that occurred inside a caravan at Casino in NSW. This website provides some other background information...

Lunchbox_cookers

The gist is that "a number" of people have been injured using these appliances and all were cases involving mis-use. The 84% figure came about from testing that showed that an integral safety feature that is supposed to prevent the canisters from exploding in an overheating situation fails to operate 84% of the time.

An interesting video of Asian origin shows a simulation with a family (of dummies) around one of these devices as it explodes (ouch!). Even more interesting is that the stove appears to have been placed on a heating element to make sure it went 'kaboom' for the camera.

So the issue really is that the safety device doesn't work properly when someone abuses the stove by doing something to it that causes the canister to overheat. I wouldn't use one of these gadgets on a boat, but I use one when travelling on the bike and camping so hopefully they return to sale in a safer form before the gas canister supply runs out!
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Old 17-03-2015, 02:44   #6
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Ive used them for years. In Asia everyone uses them.

Naah...... abuse anything and it will bite. DONT ABUSE IT.

Over reaction as usual.
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Old 17-03-2015, 02:47   #7
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Hmm... a good old nanny state beat up I reckon. I accept that they may be dangerous if misused but so are most things. The one I have comes with a heaps of warning on how not to misuse it.

I have have used maybe several dozen cannisters all without problem. The must be millions of cannisters used around the world in the last decade. You would think that if they were so dangerous, we would hear more about it.

I might get a another dozen or more before they disappear of the shelves!!!!
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Old 17-03-2015, 02:56   #8
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

I have three two single and one double burner. Have been using them since they came on sale in OZ and used them on or in boats,caravans,tents kayak camping trips and will continue to do so.I reckon they are great gadgets and safe as any other gas stove in my opinion.
Was in two camping stores on the weekend in QLD and thankfully still on sale.
Bloody Nanny states
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Old 17-03-2015, 04:37   #9
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Reefmagnet, thanks for the info and separate link to the more details.

So from that info, it seems they are only a problem if mis-used. I have 3 of them. They all have carry cases that have design features to prevent them being operated while still within the case. Presumably this is to stop them overheating as they benefit from ventilation. I can imagine building them into a van (or boat) might circumvent this feature and cause problems.

So I intend to continue to use mine as they were designed and feel safe .... going camping soon.

The nanny state prevails.
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Old 17-03-2015, 04:55   #10
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pirate Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Amazes me they have not banned cars for being lethal when mis-used...
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Old 17-03-2015, 04:58   #11
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Simple rules to operate:

Place on solid surface with airflow.
Make sure canister is inserted snugly. It is now impossible to insert WRONGLY.

I have used one of these for 9 hours continuously on high (changing cylinders when required) and the unit did not over heat or the canister or fitting get remotely hot in any way. The case is designed that if the unit in in it, the lever will NOT be able to connect the gas cylinder.

So ..... its a fine piece of kit.
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Old 17-03-2015, 06:34   #12
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Interesting. These are sometimes recommended on boating forums. ..............
A lot of bad ideas are recommended on boating forums.

Somebody tries something, nothing bad happens so he or she thinks it's a good idea and passes it on.
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Old 17-03-2015, 07:30   #13
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
A lot of bad ideas are recommended on boating forums.

Somebody tries something, nothing bad happens so he or she thinks it's a good idea and passes it on.
Ah yes. 10 million Asians are wrong. I should have known.

For the record mr rwidman, if you follow the clear instructions, NOTHING bad will ever happen. No one here has ever "tried something" or "passed on" advice to the contrary.

My Spanish girlfriend is wonderful. Abuse her in any way and she will go off like a hand grenade. Shrapnel for anyone in the vicinity. Moral of the story?

USE THE PRODUCT IN THE PRESCRIBED MANNER! Sometimes even the safety precautions in place after using it incorrectly and the incorrect state has been reached, will not work...

Im still wondering if the last (unintentional) faux pas I made can be rectified without losing a limb in April...........

I doubt it.
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Old 29-03-2015, 22:12   #14
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Well, we all know what happens if you don't use your propane stove properly....


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Old 30-03-2015, 04:08   #15
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Re: Portable Butane style cookers banned in Australia (NSW)

Although I agree with the nanny state remarks, I've always felt the real risk from these in boats comes from the potential for the canisters to leak, particularly should they be tucked away somewhere and forgotten. I had one of these cookers in my student days and it enabled me to cook in my little outhouse room for years, but I wouldn't bring one onto the boat if I could avoid it.

There were plenty of holes in the floor of my room for any gas to escape.

I never felt the cooker was hot enough to explode though.


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