Residents have been urged to check their barbecues following a spate of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) explosions in the past few days.
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Commissioner Greg Mullins said firefighters had attended nine LPG explosions which, in some cases, caused serious injury and extensive property damage.
“These figures are quite alarming so I encourage people not to be complacent when firing up their barbecue this season,” he said.
“Simple precautions and a little bit of planning and care helps to avoid accidents, prevent bushfires and property damage.
“When using the barbecue, set it up in an area that has been cleared of vegetation, on a firm, level base sheltered from the wind and away from garden sheds and fences. Have a supply of water close by and, if possible, a fire extinguisher as well.”
Other top tips to follow when using your barbecue include:
*Service and maintain your barbecue correctly - check cylinders for rust or damage and make sure connections are clear and fit properly before lighting. To check for gas leakage, spray soapy water on any suspect connection or hose and watch for bubbles. If in doubt, turn off the gas and have a licensed gas fitter attend to the hose or connection
*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 on a barbecue
*Check Total Fire Ban details before lighting your barbecue
*Keep children away from the barbecue
*Make sure store lighters and matches are 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
If you need any further advice or information, contact your nearest FRNSW station.