BBQs turn deadly as gas bottles explode

While they're an essential ingredient for summer barbeques, firefighters warn gas cylinders can dish out some dangerous side effects when not used properly.

Recent gas bottle explosions have highlighted the need for taking extra care when using them.

Firefighters says one Auckland family is lucky no one was injured after a gas bottle exploded on Christmas Eve.

"The consequences are exactly what you see behind us," Fire Service Station Officer James Hall told Newshub.

"It's a tragic loss at Christmastime."

The aftermath.
The aftermath. Photo credit: Newshub

Their garage and its contents were completely destroyed after gas bottles used for cooking exploded last night.

It's believed a woman went back into the house while cooking, leaving the bottles in the garage unattended.

"[You] really do need to be in attendance with the gas bottles at all times, monitoring them closely," Mr Hall said.

"They're just like any other fire."

While no injuries were reported, firefighters say the family were lucky to escape unharmed.

There was no such good fortune across the Tasman recently, when a gas cylinder blast incinerated a cafeteria kitchen.

The explosion melted appliances and metal, scorching walls and left a man with burns to almost half of his body.

Gas-fuelled fireballs shocked Melbourne shoppers on Thursday, while in September a leaking cylinder in a Sydney restaurant left two workers with serious burns.

So if you're breaking out the barbie over the holidays, some words of caution for keeping cylinder safe.

"So what you need to do with your gas bottles is have them checked regularly," Mr Hall said.

"Make sure they're in test and when you are using them make sure there are no leaks and everything is serviceable."

Wise advice as cylinder season kicks into top gear.