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Butane Stove Ban in NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA & NT

NSW Office of Fair Trading have issued a warning to consumers not to purchase or use portable single burner butane stove cookers, often referred to as ‘lunchbox cookers’. 

The Office reports that compliance certification has been suspended for current single burner models of this type gas cooker. 

Some double burner models are also included in the ban. 

This makes them unlawful to sell in NSW. 

Without accredited product certification, it is likely that other states will also ban the sale of these units. 

A list of the affected units appears below.

Butane StovePortable butane stove cooker

Portable butane stove cookers are small single or double burner stove tops powered by butane cartridges.* 

They usually weigh about 2kg and are typically transported in a small plastic carrying case.

The portability of these units makes them very popular with campers, caravaners and 4WD enthusiasts. 

They typically sell for under $30.

Disposable Butane Cartridges

The 220g disposable butane cartridges simply slide into the unit and are locked in place. 

Many of these cartridges are now equipped with a Countersink Release Vent (CRV). 

The CRV is a safety feature that is designed into the cartridge to allow the release of some gas in an over pressure situation, as would occur when exposed to excess heat. 

This helps to eliminate any risk of explosion. 

The video below explains how they work. 

Apologies for the 'sales pitch' style of the video.

Empty butane cartridges should be disposed of properly. 

Community recycling centres are the best place to take any empties.

UPDATE:  ACCC Planning Product Recalls

Gas regulators have identified that some models are unsafe and should be recalled.

These models fail the overpressure tests: there is a risk that the cookers may explode if they overheat.

The ACCC is working with the gas regulators to arrange recalls of these models so that any recall has national effect.

It is anticipated that product safety recalls for affected models will be in place over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) you may be entitled to a refund if you can show proof of purchase.

Latest Update: ACCC Recalls Portable Butane Stove Cookers

We will provide additional updates as more definitive information becomes available.

UPDATES: Now Banned in VIC, QLD, SA, WA & NT

in Victoria, Energy Safe Victoria is warning Victorians not to use butane canister or “lunchbox” cookers and they have been removed from sale across Victoria.

Queensland has also issued a safety warning against non-compliant butane cookers.

South Australia has now announced that it has also banned all portable butane stoves

Both single and double burner configurations are now banned in SA.

In Western Australia, EnergySafety and Consumer Protection have issued a joint public warning to consumers not to buy or use portable butane cookers due to safety concerns.

In the Northern Territory, NT WorkSafe issued as safety alert to warn consumers.

The ACT and Tasmania will almost surely ban the sale of these units, as well, assuming that they haven't already done so. 

We have been unable to verify the status of their policy but we will provide an update as soon as we know.

Why are NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA & NT Banning Sales?

The Office believes that this type of cooker poses a safety hazard.  

Testing has found a fault with the cookers’ shut-off valves. 

This creates a risk that the units may overheat and could possibly explode. 

There have been reports of incidents, including some involving injuries, in NSW and across Australia.

This is not a product recall. 

At this point, the Office just wants to stop any additional sales with this 'Stop Sale' directive.

The ban currently applies to all single burner butane cookers. 

Certain double burner models are also included.

What if it's Not on the List?

The list only includes models that are currently available. 

This does NOT mean that older models are any safer. 

NSW Fair Trading recommends that you stop using older models, as well.

What if I Already Own One?

Once again, this is not a recall.  It only applies to the sale and supply of these heaters in NSW. 

However, NSW recommends that consumers who already have these units should refrain from using them.

The Office is encouraging consumers, with proof of purchase, to take their cookers back to their retailers for a full refund.

Consumer who have been using these successfully for many years may be reluctant to stop using them. 

If you choose to ignore the NSW warnings, at least be on the lookout for any unusual functioning of the unit, including abnormal heat build-up in the base. 

You should also avoid using the unit in any way that will trap heat. 

So, do not use oversized pans or large grill plates. 

The pot or pan should not overhang the butane cartridge area.

The video below is a graphic lesson in what happens when you trap heat this way.

Never use any aluminium foil on or around the burners or on any part of the unit. 

Try to always allow for adequate air flow over the top and sides of the unit. 

Never use the unit with heat beads. 

Use on very hot days should also be avoided. 

Do not place the unit on any hot surface, like a metal table, ute tailgate or asphalt in the sun. 

Avoid direct exposure to the sun.

DangerYou should stop using the unit immediately if you notice anything out of the ordinary. 

Also, make sure you buy the CRV style cartridges for a bit more safety protection.

Finally, make sure you carefully reconsider your decision to ignore the warnings.


Gas appliance retailers in NSW must not offer the non-compliant cookers for sale. 

In the unlikely event that a retailer is unaware of the order, NSW residents should still observe the prohibition and only purchase compliant appliances. 

See the Updated ACCC Recall List with manufacturer contact details

Learn more

Butane Stove Explosion Video

Please forgive the advertising nature of this video but it does explain CRV butane cartridges.

Note the large metal plate covering the entire top of the unit and trapping heat.

There is also an electric heater under the unit to get it to overheat for the video.


See the Updated ACCC Recall List with manufacturer contact details


For more information and advice, visit the NSW Fair Trading website or phone their Call Centre on 13 32 20.

Affected portable butane cooker models and model numbers, as at March 2015 are:





Bai Hui Portable Camping Stove












Five Star





Plus MS-2000







Home Essentials


Home Essentials


House Brand










My Collection










Red Desert


Red Stone






*Cooker image from NSW Office of Fair Trading web site

See the Updated ACCC Recall List with manufacturer contact details




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The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.