Warning about canister or 'lunchbox' cookers

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Energy Safety advises importers and sellers of canister, or 'lunchbox', cookers to ensure the product they sell is safe and has valid certification. This advice follows regulatory authorities in Australia identifying deficiencies in some product supplied in Australia.

Energy Safety, part of WorkSafe New Zealand, is responsible for monitoring, encouraging, and enforcing the safe supply and use of gas and electricity. Australian and New Zealand safety regulators are concerned about the number of incidents where the canister compartment overheats, causing pressure to build in the fuel canister. In some cases the canister then ruptures, often causing a gas explosion and fire.

The Australian standard for these appliances requires an overpressure shut-off mechanism in the canister compartment to protect the canister from becoming over-pressurised. The standard also requires the mechanism to be fully enclosed and protected against external interference.

Australian certification agencies have re-tested samples taken from the market of each of the appliances they have certified. They tested the overpressure mechanism and its protection from external interference and many of these appliances failed one or both of the tests. The certification agencies have therefore suspended or cancelled their certifications.

The Australian authorities are considering whether an Australia wide recall is warranted and are communicating with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in that regard.

Like all gas appliances, the 'lunchbox' cookers are required by New Zealand’s Gas (Safety & Measurement) Regulations to be certified before being supplied by the importer or New Zealand manufacturer. All suppliers must also lodge a supplier declaration on the Gas Appliance Supplier Declaration Database (GASD), which is located on the Energy Safety website, and label the appliances with the gas safety compliance mark (pictured below) to indicate that the product meets certification requirements. Suppliers may not supply appliances that don’t meet these requirements.

Read more on the Energy Safety website

Published in energy.