Community grilled on BBQ safety as Chrissy sizzlers skyrocket

Published: 24th December 2018

As Aussies prepare to pull out their BBQ for another record round of festive season snags, the State’s emergency services are issuing a timely reminder to ensure people use them safely.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said there are few things more iconic than gathering around the family BBQ to cook up a feast for your family this festive season.

“Have a good time with your grill this Christmas but please make sure you’re doing so safely, as the last thing anyone wants to see is another house fire or serious injury,” Mr Grant said. 

“Only use your barbie in a well ventilated, level-based area that’s sheltered from the wind, keep kids away and remove any lighters or matches, be aware of any fire bans that might be in place, and most importantly, never put any flammable liquid on a BBQ or leave it unattended.”

Fire and Rescue NSW Chief Superintendent Mick Morris said firies had attended around 200 BBQ fires this year alone, while nearly half of all house fires start in the kitchen.

“People need to take proper precautions this Chrissy when you’re cooking in the kitchen, or on the BBQ, as it’s only a matter of moments before a blaze can take hold,” Ch Supt Morris said.

“In the unfortunate event that you do experience a BBQ fire, make sure you shut off the gas cylinder and use the lid to cover the flame immediately, if it’s safe to do so. You should also never use water to put out a fat or oil fire, and in an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000).”

Minister Matt Kean, who is responsible for Fair Trading in NSW, said keen cooks should also ensure their barbie is properly serviced and maintained regularly.

“There’s nothing more Australian than a backyard BBQ, but it’s so important to make sure your barbie is in tip top condition before firing it up this summer,” Mr Kean said.

“Always check the fittings and hoses of gas bottles and BBQs for general wear and tear, especially if it’s been in storage. An easy way to check for a possible leak is to spray soapy water on the hose. If the water bubbles, turn off the gas immediately and ventilate the area.”

For more fire safety tips, and to learn about FRNSW’s ‘keep looking when cooking’ campaign, visit