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Sizzle Safely this Australia Day

Published: 23rd January 2010

Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan has called on everyone to take care when firing up the barbeque, with Australia Day just around the corner. 

Mr Whan said that the Australia Day holiday is one of the big days for the Aussie barbeque, with thousands of people entertaining family and friends.

"But the very last thing anyone wants is for things to turn nasty leaving people facing a fire," Mr Whan.  

"Sadly, it's all too common for people to be injured and properties damaged because of barbecue-related incidents.

"A house fire at the end of last year in the eastern suburbs was caused when heat beads used on a barbeque weren't extinguished properly and reignited under a wooden deck.  Luckily no one was injured but the house was severely damaged," said Mr Whan.

"By following simple precautions you can protect yourself and keep other people, properties and bushland safe."

Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons took the opportunity to remind people that open fires, including wood and charcoal barbeques, could not be used on Total Fire Ban days.

"If you are having a barbeque, especially if you're camping, ensure it is fully extinguished after use and make sure you check for Total Fire Bans. On days of Total Fire Ban, no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended."

NSW Fire Brigades Commissioner Greg Mullins spoke about the importance of checking that gas cylinders and hoses are in good condition.

"Make sure your barbeque is properly serviced and maintained.  Check hoses and connections are working properly and inspect the cylinder for rust or damage," said Commissioner Mullins.

The NSWFB has issued the following barbecue safety tips to help you stay safe:
  • Service and maintain your barbecue correctly - check cylinders for rust or damage and make sure connections are clear and fit properly before lighting

  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the correct start up and shut down procedures. After use, make sure the gas is turned off at the cylinder

  • Never put flammable liquid onto a barbeque

  • Keep children away from the barbeque and store lighters and matches in a secure place

  • If a gas leak occurs and it is safe to do so, shut off the cylinder immediately and allow any gas to disperse

  • After use make sure the gas is turned off at the cylinder

  • Call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency.