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Make barbecue safety a priority this Grand Final day

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23 Sep 2013
Footy fans are being urged to play it safe when they take their barbecues out of winter hibernation for Grand Final celebrations this weekend.

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 them up for AFL’s biggest clash.

MFB Acting Chief Officer David Youssef said the footy final was often the first time many people will use their barbecues since last summer, so it is vital to check that the gas cylinder, hose and connections are working properly.

"Barbecues are a great way to get together with friends and family but they can cause serious injury or even death if the hose has perished, the connections are loose or the cylinder has been damaged," Mr Youssef said.

"Firefighters are often called to attend barbecue-related incidents when people celebrate major events, but most of these could be avoided if a little more care was taken with the use and maintenance of gas barbecues."

With the warmer weather on the horizon, we are about to enter the peak period for barbecue fires, with the weather warming up and celebratory occasions such as the AFL Grand Final and Spring Racing Carnival on their way.

Checking your barbecue is quick and easy to do, CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson added.

"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 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. 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 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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