NT WorkSafe recently issued a safety alert to remind restaurants, food vendors and domestic gas appliance users of the importance of only using certified gas appliances and following all safety instructions included with the gas appliance or associated gas cartridges.
The alert was issued after five patrons were injured (some seriously) when gas ignited at a Darwin restaurant in September 2022.
The patrons were part of a group cooking their meal on a barbeque appliance that was inserted into the table which utilised both a butane gas cartridge and charcoal as the fuel source.
At the time of the incident, the patrons were cooking with charcoal as the fuel source for the barbeque.
The constant radiant heat from the burning charcoal may have caused the butane gas in the cartridge to expand and overpressure, activating the cartridge’s countersink release vent safety device. This released the cartridge’s butane gas content which ignited causing the injuries.
The alert said there were a number of possible contributing factors:
The alert recommended a number of required actions:
All gas appliances must either comply with AS2658 – LP Gas – portable and mobile appliances, or be approved by the Australian Gas Association, or the Australian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association or NT WorkSafe before use in the Northern Territory as per the Regulation 189 of the Dangerous Goods Regulations 1985.