Firies issue BBQ safety warning for Australia Day

Published: 25th January 2019

Australia’s love affair with the barbeque is well known, and it’s no surprise Australia Day, is one of the busiest days of the year for a backyard cook up.

It’s also a time when burn risks peak, so Fire and Rescue NSW is issuing a timely warning, to be barbeque safe.

Chief Superintendent Michael Morris, from FRNSW Community Safety Branch, said the fact is barbeques can be dangerous.

“FRNSW crews attended almost 200 barbeque fires in the past 12 months, and the Australia Day weekend is extremely popular for barbeque feasts, but they can also cause grief when mixed with carelessness or excessive alcohol,” said Chief Superintendent Morris.

“BBQ Fires and gas cylinder leaks can turn a weekend holiday into a disaster, so we encourage the community to not be complacent with their barbeques, and to know some simple fire safety tips, to avoid potential disasters,” he said.

Simple but effective fire safety tips from Fire and Rescue NSW, include:

  • Maintain your barbeque correctly. Check cylinders for damage, and ensure connections are clean and tight before lighting.
  • Check for gas leaks. If in doubt, consult a professional.
  • If a gas leak occurs, shut off the cylinder immediately, and allow gas to dissipate.
  • NEVER put flammable liquids on a barbie, and keep it away from anything that could ignite.
  • Keep children away, remove lighters and matches, and ‘Keep looking when cooking’. NEVER leave a BBQ unattended.

If your BBQ does catch fire:

  • Shut off the gas cylinder, and use the lid to cover the flame, if it’s safe to do so.
  • Never use water to put out a fat or oil fire.
  • Call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.
  • Refer to the FRNSW website for details:

Chief Superintendent Morris said if you are using a solid fuelled BBQ (wood/heat beads etc), and/or are having your BBQ in public places like parks and reserves, you should also be aware of any fire restrictions that may be in place on the day, such as total fire bans.

“We want people to have fun, and enjoy their social occasions, with groups of people gathering around the barbie. Just always adopt fire safety practices, and enjoy a safe barbie!”, said Chief Superintendent Morris.