Camping appliances need air. In New Zealand the majority of deaths associated with the use of camping appliances have been attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Without proper ventilation, stoves, lamps, refrigerators, heaters or other gas appliances can give off poisonous carbon monoxide. A faulty appliance may also emit carbon monoxide, even in well-ventilated areas.


  • Use camping appliances outside whenever possible.
  • Never use in confined spaces such as small tents.
  • If inside, make sure that there's plenty of space and ventilation.
  • Ventilation should allow air to move across the space with openings at high and low levels.
  • Keep appliances in good condition.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Give your flame room to burn – it should touch no more than the bottom of the pot.
  • Do not use appliances if they are giving off a smell as this indicates leaking gas or emissions linked to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If your appliance is malfunctioning – stop using it.

Any gas installation installed in a caravan after November 2011 must comply with AS/NZS 5601.2: 2010 Gas installations – LP Gas installations in caravans and boats for non-propulsive purposes. Any caravan imported for supply must comply with the essential safety requirements set out in Section 2 of AS/NZS 5601.2.

Installations installed prior to November 2011 should comply with Part 1 of the New Zealand gas installation code, NZS 5261: 2003: Gas Installations. The caravan installation standard, NZS 5428: 2006: LPG Installations for Non-propulsive Purposes in Caravans and Boats, provides a means of compliance for Part 1 of NZS 5261.  

Technical bulletins are available providing further information about living safely with gas in caravans and motorhomes.