With Melbourne Cup and Grand Final day just around the corner, firefighters are calling for everyone to check their barbecue before firing it up.
While both events will look a little different this year with restrictions in place, Acting CFA Chief Officer Garry Cook said if you are having a barbecue at home with your household to celebrate, it is important to do a few safety checks.
“Before you throw on the snags and chops for Grand Final day or the Melbourne Cup, we’re asking you to check the connections on your gas barbie,” he said.
“Spending a few minutes to inspect the connection before you turn on the gas can keep you and your loved ones safe. And it means you won’t end up with a crew of firefighters crashing your barbecue.”
Acting CFA CO Cook said it was a quick exercise to check your gas cylinder.
“The check really is simple; just spray the hose and regulator connections with soapy water before firing up the barbecue,” 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.”
FRV’s Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block said that people should leak-test the gas cylinder every time they connect it.
“Many fires start while cooking, so you should never leave cooking unattended. It is also important that you take a few minutes to inspect the gas bottle and connection, and leak-test the connection to the gas cylinder every time you connect it,” Commissioner Block said.
“Doing these simple checks can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
“If your barbecue does catch fire, remember to call Triple Zero (000), and if it is safe to do so, turn off the gas at the meter or cylinder.”
To make sure your barbecue is safe:
– If a fire occurs, don’t try to extinguish the flames if it 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.
– Have your gas cylinder tested and 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.
Visit the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au for advice on what you can and can’t do during Fire Danger Periods and Total fire Bans.