Approximately 700,000 emergency room visits per year in the United States are the result of burns. Butane stoves are a convenient way to cook when camping or cooking outdoors at home; however, certain safety hazards must be addressed. The butane used to light the stove is extremely flammable and hazardous, and users need to follow strict safety guidelines to lessen their chances or receiving injuries.
Before using a butane stove, ensure that it's in an appropriate location. When using the stove outdoors, no other flammable materials should be within its vicinity. Keep away from any leaves, bushes or trees, as these can act as an ignition source. Never use a butane stove indoors, such as within a home, tent or camper. Doing so will expose you to carbon dioxide poisoning.
Store your butane stove in a safe place and keep the canisters separated from the stove. The butane canisters should be stored out of direct sunlight and away from any flammable liquids or materials. When using a butane stove, do not store any spare canisters within the vicinity of the flames. This will help lessen the chance of any fires or explosions.
Butane Tank Size
Check your butane stove to determine what size tank is most appropriate. Attaching a tank that is larger than one required could overload the pressure valves and allow more gas to reach the flame, possibly causing an explosion. Although carrying smaller tanks with you can be a hindrance, it will minimize any chances of your stove blowing up and causing fires or injuries.
Safety Shutoff Switch
The majority of butane stoves come equipped with a safety shutoff switch that turns the stove off if the butane pressure becomes too high or the stove too hot. If your safety shutoff switch goes off, contact the manufacturer to find a local repair shop. Do not attempt to fix the safety switch on your own.
When using a butane stove, be prepared for any emergency. Keeping a fire extinguisher nearby will help reduce the chance of experiencing a fire. Supervise children at all times when a butane stove is in use. Create a child-free zone of at least 3 feet around the perimeter of the flames. In addition, make sure that the stove's trivet is in the cooking position prior to using the stove, and never try to light the device if you smell gas.
- Congressional Record: Welcoming Members of the American Burn Association
- Manuals Library: Coleman Model 2800 Instructions for Use Manual
- Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines: Use Portable Camping Stoves Safely
- Camp Chef: Mountain Series 1 Burner Butane Stove Care, Use and Safety Instructions
- Photo Credit gas stove image by Christopher Walker from Fotolia.com
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