26 September 2023

Gas fire barbecues a hot topic in summer

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The State’s fire and energy safety authorities have joined forces to remind Victorians about new, safer barbecue connections which reduce the number of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) cylinder fires and explosions.

The reminder from Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and The Alfred Hospital comes as ESV launches its 2022 ‘Know the Drill Before You Grill’ campaign.

Commissioner and Chairperson of ESV, Marnie Williams said that every summer, firefighters were called to LPG cylinder-related incidents, with severe cases resulting in people being rushed to hospital trauma centres.

To combat this, Ms Williams said ESV had led the introduction of updated Australian Standards over the past 18 months, resulting in new barbecue connections and cylinder valves that when imperfectly connected won’t leak gas – even if the cylinder has been turned on.

“If the hose connection has been disconnected or the cylinder valve has been left open, gas will not flow, reducing the risk of an explosion or fire,” Ms Williams said.

“The key benefit of the new connection and valve is reducing the incidence of house fires and injuries with firefighters called to at least one LPG barbecue-related fire each week last summer,” she said.

“These incidents mostly occurred when barbecues and cylinders weren’t properly connected or were damaged.”

In a statement, The Alfred Hospital said burns from gas cylinder fires were common and injuries suffered from these incidents were often incredibly debilitating with burns mainly affecting the hands and face.

Ms Williams said the new barbecue connections were only compatible with the corresponding new cylinder connection.

“If you do have a barbecue with the new connection, you need to ensure your gas cylinder has the corresponding valve,” the Commissioner said.

“You can easily replace old cylinders with new cylinders at your local service station or hardware store.”

Further information on the new barbeque valves and ESV’s Know the Drill campaign can be accessed at this PS News link.

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