With many residents firing up the barbecue during summer, Taree Fire Station Commander Peter Willard has provided some helpful tips to keep you safe.
Residents are reminded to be aware of and comply with any fire restrictions that may be in place, such as total fire bans.
Ensure that your barbecue is serviced and maintained correctly, including scheduled pressure testing of any gas cylinders and checking on the condition of all hoses and connections for any blockages or perishing.
The cylinder must be checked for rust or damage and have any connections clean and fitting snugly before lighting.
Barbecues must be placed on a firm, level base that is sheltered from wind gusts and away from flammable items such as garden sheds, vegetation and fences.
Commander Willard said simple precautions can help avoid a catastrophe.
“Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the correct start up and shut down procedures,” Commander Willard said.
“If a gas leak does occur, shut off the cylinder immediately and allow any gas to dissipate.”
Commander Willard added that a garden hose or similar continuous supply of water should be available at all times.
He also said that a lit barbecue should be in the care of a responsible adult at all times.
Hot ash and coals should be given 48 hours to cool before removal.
It is also recommended that a safety device be installed that shuts off the gas from the cylinder should a leak occur.
Commander WIllard added that if stored or used incorrectly, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) can be extremely dangerous.
LPG is not to be used indoors or in a confined space and should not have the cylinder connected or disconnected in the vicinity of a naked flame. When transporting cylinders in a vehicle, the total capacity must not exceed nine kilograms.
They should be transported in an upright position, secured and preferable in the boot with no more than two carried at one time.
Residents are encouraged to contact Triple Zero (000) only for new and unattended fires or if a strong smell of gas is detected.
More information is available at the Fire and Rescue NSW website.