BBQ Safety Tips - LPG Gas Bottles NZ

LPG Gas & NZ BBQ Gas Bottle Safety

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) is stored in your gas bottle as a liquid.

When the cylinder valve is opened some of the liquid boils off as a vapour.

A strong, distinctive odourant is added to help detect minor leaks quickly.

LPG is non-toxic, non-corrosive and clean burning, but if you inhale it in sufficient volumes it will cause suffocation.

LPG is heavier than air, so any leaking gas will flow downwards and collect in low spaces.

Without ample ventilation and air movement, it will dissipate very slowly.

BBQ gas is different from automotive LPG.

Never use automotive LPG for BBQ cooking.

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BBQ Safety Tips


9kg gas cylinder size is the most common size for NZ home BBQ use.

SWAP’n’GO 9kg gas bottle. This is the standard size in our SWAP’n’GO® cylinder exchange program.

Nominal Capacity: 9kg

Diameter: 309-335mm

Height: 450-525mm

Tare (empty) Weight: 7.3-10.4kg

Please see How Long Will a BBQ Gas Bottle Last

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Safe Storage of Your Gas Bottle

  • It is best to store gas bottles outdoors in a well ventilated space.
  • Gas bottles should never be stored indoors.
  • Gas bottles should always be stored upright.
  • Do not store gas bottles near an ignition source.
  • If you store your BBQ or patio heater indoors, when not in use, you should always detach the gas bottle first and store it separately outdoors

Where to Place Your BBQ for Use

  • Adequate ventilation is essential when using a BBQ to allow the gas to burn and burnt gases to dissipate.
  • BBQs should never be used near flammable objects.
  • BBQs should NEVER be used indoors because of the risk of toxic fumes, smoke or even fire.
  • Children should be kept safely away from BBQs and gas bottles.

Transporting Gas Bottles Safely

Checking Your LPG Gas BBQ

The leading cause of BBQ fires is equipment failure, leaks or breaks – these cause over 60% of outdoor fires*

  • Use the correct type of hose. Do not make temporary connections. Keep hose gently curved to prevent kinks and damage.
  • Cracked or damaged hoses and/or gas regulators should be replaced before use.
  • Check hoses to make sure they have not perished by brushing or spraying on soapy water and checking for bubbles.
  • Check hoses for blockages, such as spiders, which might have nested inside during winter.
  • Check connections to make sure that they are clean and fitting snugly

* Source NFPA Journal 2003

Operating Your BBQ Gas Bottle

  • Always read the BBQ manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • Keep the gas bottle upright and on a stable base.
  • When done using your BBQ, turn off at the gas bottle first and then at the BBQ controls.
  • Always turn off the gas bottle valve when you’re not using your BBQ.
  • Remember, adequate ventilation is essential.
  • Be sure to shut off the bottle valve before disconnecting the bottle from the BBQ, even if you think the bottle is empty.
  • A safety valve is fitted to the vapour space to allow automatic relief of any excess pressure due to overfilling, or in the event of a fire.
  • Never tamper with the safety valve or other gas bottle fittings. Do not use undue force to open or close the main cylinder valve. If in doubt, consult the supplier.

Emergency Procedures • BBQ Gas Bottles

  • If any leakage from the valve of a small cylinder is detected or suspected move the cylinder to a safe location at least 20 metres from any possible source of ignition.
  • Keep flames and sparks away.
  • Check valve is turned off. Hose with water.
  • If it is not possible to stop the leak, keep the leak uppermost so that only gas and not liquid escapes. Keep hands and face clear of any escaping liquid.
  • Call Elgas for further advice on 0800 435 427

In emergency dial 111 for Fire Brigade or Police.