The Fire Service is warning campers and other holidaymakers to be careful when using portable gas stoves, following a spate of accidents.
Over the past five years there have been at least 41 portable gas stove fires or explosions, 14 of which involved injuries to people, national fire investigation manager Peter Wilding said.
In January, two adults and a child on board a boat were severely burned when the butane canister of their cooker exploded. In the same month, two adults in the central North Island were flown by helicopter to hospital after their portable stove blew up.
Another explosion, at a Auckland home last week, blew out windows and a conservatory wall, he said.
Butane canisters and compact cookers were sold by hardware stores, supermarkets and camping equipment suppliers throughout the country and were widely used, he said.
Some restaurants also used the stoves when cooking some dishes at diners' tables.
It appeared some accidents were the result of people incorrectly following the instructions which came with the stove, Mr Wilding said.
However, Fire Service investigations revealed there were several simple operating errors which could lead to gas leakage and explosions.
Mr Wilding was also concerned that the canisters were labelled as explosive-proof, when testing had shown the design used to prevent explosions did not always work.
The Fire Service was liaising with other agencies, including Energy Safety, to improve safety.