Camping appliances need air. In New Zealand the majority of deaths associated with the use of camping appliances have been attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Without proper ventilation, stoves, lamps, refrigerators, heaters or other gas appliances can give off poisonous carbon monoxide. A faulty appliance may also emit carbon monoxide, even in well-ventilated areas.
Following amendments to the Gas (Safety & Measurement) Regulations 2010, from 8 November 2011, any gas installation in a caravan must comply with AS/NZS 5601.2:2010 Gas installations – LP Gas installations in caravans and boats for non-propulsive purposes. Any imported caravan must comply with the essential safety requirements set out in Section 2 of AS/NZS 5601.2.
The transitional arrangements of the amendments allowed, until 31 December 2012, that the previous installation standards may be used. That is, any gas installation installed in a caravan or imported in a caravan into New Zealand must comply with Part 1 of the NZ gas installation code, NZS 5261: 2003: Gas Installations. The caravan installation standard, NZS5428:2006: LPG Installations for Non-propulsive Purposes in Caravans and Boats, provides a means of compliance for Part 1 of NZS 5261. It provides guidance for the installation and use of gas in caravans, motorhomes and boats.
Technical bulletins are available providing further information about living safely with gas in caravans and motorhomes.
- Use camping appliances outside whenever possible.
- Never use in confined spaces such as small tents.
- If inside, make sure that there's plenty of space and ventilation.
- Ventilation should allow air to move across the space with openings at high and low levels.
- Keep appliances in good condition.
- Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Give your flame room to burn – it should touch no more than the bottom of the pot.
- Do not use appliances if they are giving off a smell as this indicates leaking gas or emissions linked to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If your appliance is malfunctioning - stop using it!
From Energy Safety business newsletter, December 2014