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Don’t let a dodgy BBQ ruin your Grand Final weekend

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23 Sep 2014
As AFL rivals the Hawks and Swans prepare to battle it out at the ‘G this weekend, make sure you are prepared to celebrate safely in your backyard.

Grand Final weekend is often the first time Victorians will fire up their barbecue after its winter hibernation.

With a week of sunny weather ahead of us, Victoria's fire agencies are joining forces to encourage anyone planning a Grand Final day barbecue to ensure their LP gas barbecue is in good working order before firing it up for AFL’s big clash on Saturday.

MFB Acting Chief Officer Paul Stacchino said it is vital to check that your barbecue’s gas cylinder, hose and connections are working properly, before inviting friends and family over for a footy finals party.

“Summer is on its way and we are about to enter the peak period for barbecue-use, but if the connections on your barbecue are loose, the hose has perished or the cylinder has been damaged barbecues you could be putting your loved ones at risk of serious injury or even death," Mr Stacchino said.

"Most barbecue fires could have been avoided if a little more care was taken with the use and maintenance of gas barbecues."

CFA Deputy Chief Officer Steve Warrington said checking your barbecue is quick and easy to do.

"You can check the hose and regulator connections are safe by spraying them with soapy water," he said.

“Bubbles will form if gas is escaping. If you’ve got any doubts about the connections, turn off the gas and replace the connection or contact a licensed gasfitter.”

 “You should leak-test the connection to the gas cylinder every time you connect it. And remember, a barbecue should not be left unattended."

To ensure your barbecue is safe:

  • If a fire occurs, don’t try to extinguish the flames if is not safe to do so. Call Triple Zero and turn off the gas at the meter or cylinder, but only if you can do so safely.
  • Check the LP gas cylinder on your barbecue before you turn 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.
  • To have your gas cylinder tested ensure you use a licensed gasfitter
  • You can exchange LP gas cylinders at a reputable supplier
  • Check the hose to make sure it has not 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
  • Use your barbecue in a clear space. Never use it indoors or in a confined area and ensure there is adequate clearance from walls, fences, and other property
  • Cook with barbecue utensils and wear an apron to protect yourself from hot fat
  • Remove excess fat from the barbecue after each use to prevent fires
  • Do not use barbecues in windy conditions as the burners may blow out, risking a gas leak

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