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Take care with barbecues during Grand Final celebrations 2011

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28 Sep 2011
Footy fans are being urged to play it safe when they take their barbecues out of winter hibernation for Grand Final celebrations this weekend.

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

CFA and MFB, in conjunction with Energy Safe Victoria, are urging all footy fans to ensure LP gas barbecues are in good working order before firing them up for the big game.

CFA State Duty Officer Scott Purdy said that Grand Final day is often the first time many people will use their barbecue 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 Purdy said.

The potential dangers of gas BBQs were highlighted recently when CFA crews responded an incident at a home in Fentons Creek, in which a faulty BBQ cylinder burst into flames. The quick response of three CFA crews managed to save the house.

“You can check the hose and regulator connections are safe by spraying them with soapy water. 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,” Mr Purdy said.

MFB Director of Community Resilience, Rob Taylor said firefighters often see first hand the damage and trauma that could be caused by faulty gas barbecues.

“Days like the Grand Final are a great time for family and friends to get together but you don’t want a fire to ruin the party. 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,” ACFO Taylor said

To ensure you have a safe BBQ this Grand Final weekend:

  • 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. You can exchange LP gas cylinders at a reputable supplier;
  • Check the hose to make sure it has not perished;
  • 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;
  • 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. Barbecues don’t have a safety device to turn off the gas if the flame goes out;
  • If a fire occurs, don’t try to extinguish the flames if is not safe. Turn off the gas at the meter or cylinder but only if you can do so safely.

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