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Avoid a sizzle and barbecue safely

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21 Dec 2017
Apron? Check. Tongs? Check. Safety? Check.

With the warm weather here to stay, MFB and CFA are urging Victorians to be barbecue safe this summer.

Before you throw your bangers on the grill, make sure your barbecue is in good working order.

Last summer, firefighters from MFB and CFA responded to more than 200 barbecue fires across the state.

“Summer is synonymous with barbecues,” MFB Acting Chief Officer Greg Leach said.

“But before you fire up your barbecue, it’s important to do a quick safety check to ensure your lunch doesn’t go up in flames.

“Most barbecue fires can be avoided by taking some simple safety precautions.

“Check that the gas cylinder, hose and connections are tight and there are no leaks.

“Always ensure your barbecue is a safe distance from walls, fences and other property,” he said.

CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said unattended barbecues were a common cause of fires.

“It’s tempting to turn your back on a barbecue but a few seconds is all it takes for a fire to start.

“The last thing you want is for firefighters to be called to your house or party this festive season,” he said.

Top ten barbecue safety tips:
  • Check the LP gas cylinder on your barbecue before turning it on. A cylinder must not be refilled if it hasn’t been tested for more than 10 years or if the cylinder has been damaged.
  • Have your gas cylinder tested by a licensed gasfitter
  • If needed, exchange your gas cylinder at a reputable supplier
  • Check the hose to make sure it hasn’t deteriorated
  • Check the connections to make sure they are tight and that the O rings are in good condition and have not cracked or split
  • Spray the hose and regulator connections with soapy water every time you connect it to the cylinder. If bubbles form, gas is leaking and you need to check the connections and replace them if they’re damaged
  • Use your barbecue outdoors, in a clear space
  • Cook with barbecue utensils and wear an apron to protect yourself from hot fat
  • Remove excess fat from the barbecue after each use
  • Do not use barbecues in windy conditions as the burners may blow out, risking a gas leak
Barbecue fires between November 2016 and March 2017:
CFA district: 88
MFB district: 113
Total: 201

Media contacts: 
CFA Media: 1300 232 63342 or 
MFB Media: 9665 4699 or

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