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Victorians urged to Know The Drill around barbecues

13 November 2020

Victoria’s independent energy safety regulator, Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) along with the state’s fire agencies Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) and CFA are calling on everyone to Know The Drill Before You Grill as warmer weather comes and barbecues begin to light up.

The drill is a series of simple steps that ensure your LP Gas cylinder is safe before lighting up your barbecue. It is part of an ESV safety campaign that kicks off in November and runs through till after Australia Day.

According to FRV and CFA statistics, firefighters respond to more than 150 barbecue fires over summer, that’s more than one barbecue fire for each day of summer.

“Barbecues are a social occasion, and part of our Australian culture – we want them to be happy times, not marred by fire”, said Victoria’s Director of Energy Safety, Marnie Williams.

Fire Rescue Victoria’s Deputy Commissioner Fire Safety, Michelle Young urged the community to take a few simple safety precautions before they start using a barbecue.

“As the weather heats up, it’s often the first time Victorians will fire up their barbecue after the winter months – and FRV is urging the community to make sure their gas barbecue is in good working order,” said Deputy Commissioner Young.

“Spending a few minutes to inspect the gas bottle and connection can keep you and your loved ones safe. The check is simple; First don’t use the cylinder if it is damaged and second clean the hose and regulator connections with a soapy sponge then spray the connection points with soapy water before firing up the barbeque. Bubbles will form if gas is escaping. If you’ve got any doubts about the connections, turn off the gas and replace the connection, or contact a licensed gasfitter,” she said.

CFA Acting Chief Officer, Garry Cook said the community needs to take a few simple safety precautions before they relax and start cooking.

“Summer is just around the corner and it’s going to start heating up soon. We all love a barbecue when it’s hot so it’s important yours is safe,” he said.

“If the connections on your barbecue are loose, the hose has perished or the cylinder has been damaged you could be putting your loved ones at risk of serious injury or even death.”

There are just three simple steps to the drill:

  • Inspect the hose between the gas cylinder and the barbecue for signs of perishing or cracking – if the hose is cracked or perished, replace it immediately.
  • Using a squeezy bottle, spray soapy water (use dishwashing liquid and water) on the hose connections.
  • If bubbles form, check your connections and retest. If bubbles continue to form, do not use the barbecue.

Leak test the connection to the cylinder every time you connect it or change cylinders.

“Leaks are common and can be very dangerous,” Ms Williams said. “This is a simple, quick test which could prevent a tragedy.”

The Know The Drill Before You Grill campaign starts in mid-November, on regional television, streaming services, social media and radio, including CALD radio, and will run throughout summer.

It comes ahead of the introduction of new Australian Standards that mandate the use of safety valves on LP gas leisure cylinders.

Known in Australia as the LCC27 valve, this safety valve or Quick Closing Coupling (QCC) valve, essentially only releases gas when attached to a gas connection, such as a barbecue hose assembly.

The new LCC27 valve will appear on LPG cylinders sometime during 2021. There will be a 10-year transition period as the estimated 12–15 million old gas cylinder valves across Australia are phased out.

For further information, including a free soapy water bottle, visit esv.vic.gov.au/knowthedrill

For more home fire safety tips, download your free Home Fire Safety Booklet via CFA.

Media contact: Jonathan Granger 0400 948 934 | jonathan.granger@energysafe.vic.gov.au

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