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Don’t put common sense on the backburner this Australia Day

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22 Jan 2016
Victorians are urged to celebrate safely this Australia Day weekend and avoid an unplanned visit from a firefighter.

Even the best backyard chefs aren’t immune from a firey disaster and there’s more than just a charcoaled chop at stake.

CFA and MFB were called to more than a dozen incidents involving barbeques, illegal fireworks and campfires over the 2015 Australia Day long weekend.

CFA Chief Officer Joe Buffone said one incident is one too many.

“What is most concerning about these stats is all of those activities can lead to serious injury, or death,” Mr Buffone said.

“A public holiday is no reason for common sense to take a break too.

“Camping is popular activity over summer but we urge people to always check the weather conditions to ensure there’s no Total Fire Bans in place before starting a fire.

“Solid and liquid fuel barbeques are banned on days of Total Fire Ban.”

Most barbeque fires could be avoided if a little more care was taken with their use and maintenance.

MFB Chief Officer Peter Rau said the traditional Aussie barbeque can be enjoyed safely by following a few simple steps.

“First you should check to see if the gas cylinder has signs of damage,” Mr Rau said.

“Then check if the hose line has any leaks by dousing it in soapy water and looking to see if bubbles appear. If they do, you’ll know that gas is escaping and it’s time to call a licensed gasfitter.

“We want everyone to enjoy their Australia Day or extra-long weekend if taking one, but please make safety your first priority.”

BBQ safety tips:

  • Use your BBQ in a clear space. Using a BBQ indoors is illegal.
  • If a fire breaks out, turn the gas off at the meter or cylinder if safe to do so.
  • Check hose connections are tight and O rings aren’t split or cracked.
  • Exchange LPG cylinders at a reputable supplier.
  • Clean BBQs well as a build-up of oils and fats could spark a fire.
  • Avoid using BBQs in windy conditions as burners may blow out, causing a gas leak.

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