Summer is synonymous with backyard entertaining, but before you fire up the barbecue, it’s important to do a quick safety check.
Energy Safe Victoria has kicked-off its annual barbecue safety awareness campaign, ‘Know the drill before you grill’, with the community being urged to take a few simple safety precautions before they start using a barbecue.
Councillor Rob Steane said that gas barbecues, in particular, could be dangerous if not properly maintained.
“Gas escaping from your barbecue can lead to an explosion of fires – LPG gas is highly flammable and easily ignited,” Cr Steane said.
“So, to stay safe, ‘Know the drill before you grill’. This means you should check that the gas cylinder, hose and connections are tight and there are no leaks,” he said.
To carry out the drill:
- Inspect the hose between the gas cylinder and the barbecue for signs of perishing or cracking. If the hose is cracked or damaged, replace it immediately.
- Check for leaks by applying soapy water to the entire hose assembly, including the bottle’s valve and regulator, using a spray bottle or sponge.
- If bubbles form, check your connections and retest. Bubbles will form if gas is escaping. If bubbles continue to form, do not use the barbecue.
According to the state’s fire agencies Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and CFA, firefighters respond to an average of more than 150 barbecue fires over summer – that’s more than one barbecue fire for each day of summer.
“If you find a leak, turn off the gas bottle immediately. Also, always ensure your barbecue is a safe distance from walls, fences and other property. If you’ve got any doubts about the connections, turn off the gas and replace the connection, or contact a licensed gasfitter,” Cr Steane said.
“Remember to check and test the connection every time you barbecue. Spending a few minutes to inspect the gas bottle and connection can keep you and your loved ones safe,” he said.