Gas safety alert for restaurant tabletop cooking

  • Explosion and injury risks from portable gas appliances with butane canisters
  • Banned in restaurants, including tabletop cooking, and indoors
  • All portable gas cooking appliances must be approved for use in Western Australia

Diners and restaurant owners are reminded that portable gas appliances powered by butane canisters cannot be used for commercial purposes, such as tabletop cooking experiences.

WA’s gas safety regulator, Building and Energy, is also warning that all portable gas cooking appliances must be approved for use in Western Australia.

Building and Energy has noted an increase in the use of unapproved butane canister gas cookers in restaurants, often for tabletop DIY or barbecue-style cooking. Appliances of this type have caused gas explosions and injuries, such as an incident in Subiaco in 2019.

Building and Energy has prohibited the commercial or indoor use of “a portable cooking appliance that has an enclosed gas cartridge containing butane gas under pressure as the fuel”.

An updated fact sheet, “Portable gas cooking appliances in restaurants”, has been translated into Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai and Vietnamese to help restaurant operators comply with the prohibition.

“Unapproved appliances may cause significant harm such as burns, breathing difficulties or worse,” WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said.

“Likewise, outdoor portable gas appliances must never be used indoors due to the risk of serious illness or death from carbon monoxide.

“It is also important to remember that not all domestic appliances are suitable or safe for commercial applications.”

Mr Abdoolakhan advises restaurant owners and operators to ensure all gas equipment:

  • has an approval number and symbol showing it is approved for use in Western Australia;
  • is approved for commercial use; and
  • is located and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and any warning labels, such as “outdoor use only”.

Restaurant owners are also reminded that Building and Energy can conduct random inspections and issue prohibition orders preventing the use of non-compliant appliances.

For advice or work on gas installations and appliances, contact a licensed gas fitter:


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Image of a tabletop butane cooker:

butane_restaurant.jpg, by sroberts


Building and Energy
Media release
11 Oct 2023

Last modified: