AS barbies and gas cylinders are dragged out for a new sizzling season, authorities are warning people to be careful when firing up or filling up.
The warning follows recent service station fires and a series of LPG and barbecue fires caused largely by wear and tear on gas hoses and burners.
WorkCover’s health and safety manager John Watson said most fires involving barbeques were sparked by unsafe decanting of LPG into smaller cylinders for use in barbecues.
“LPG cylinders should be earthed while being filled by placing them on the ground to limit the risk of static electricity build from the flow of gas,” Mr Watson said in a statement.
“They should also never be left unattended while being filled as this can lead to overfilling and gas escaping.”
Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins said that, since June 1 this year, firefighters had responded to 64 barbecue fires and 67 leaking or damaged LPG cylinders and hoses, most from barbecue cylinders.
“When a cylinder leaks, especially on balconies, the gas pools until something ignites it like a cigarette or an electrical spark.”
He said a new hose and regulator for gas cylinders could be purchased for less than $50.
Some safety tips are:
- Never use an LPG cylinder indoors or in a confined space.
- 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 on to a barbecue.
- Keep children away from the barbecue 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.
- In an emergency, get away, stay away and call triple-0.