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Fire safety: keep your eye on the ball this grand final weekend

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29 Sep 2016
You’ve got your snags, scarves and snacks ready for the footy finals this weekend – but have you checked that your barbecue is working safely?

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

With the AFL and NRL finals this weekend, MFB and CFA are joining forces to encourage anyone planning a barbecue to ensure their LP gas barbecue is in good working order before firing it up.

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 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 State Duty Officer Peter Baker said there were important steps to take if a barbecue caught fire.

"If your barbecue catches fire, don’t try to extinguish the flames because you could burn yourself or those around you, and even make the fire spread further,” he said.

“Call Triple Zero and only if it’s safe, turn off the gas at the cylinder or your meter.”
To ensure your barbecue is safe:

  • 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
  • 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 connections and replace if damaged
  • 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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