The Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) is urging the community to stay fire-safe during their Australia day celebrations.
While it’s a long-held Aussie tradition to gather around the barbie on Australia Day, this enjoyable custom can quickly become dangerous if some simple precautions aren’t taken. Statistics obtained from the Victoria Adult Burns Service at the Alfred indicate that 9.5% of burn admissions last summer were the result of a barbecue incident.
Common causes of injury included exploding gas bottles, build up of gas when lighting a barbecue and the use of flammable liquid as fuel.
Sharon Merritt, Technical Officer at FPA Australia (pictured) said, “You should always examine your barbecue for potential hazards. This includes checking the gas cylinder for damage and ensuring all hoses and connections are intact and adequately tightened. Your LPG cylinder is required to be re-tested every ten years. Cylinders beyond their service date are potentially dangerous and should not be used.”
“You can take measures to avoid disaster in the event of a fire by making sure the barbecue is free from flammable materials. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and ensure you have a minimum of ten litres of water nearby at all times. To keep yourself safe from danger while cooking on the barbie you should avoid loose clothing, use long handled tongs and never use flammable liquid to start or revive a fire.”
While a barbecue has the ability to cause severe personal harm if not properly managed, the consequences of a fire on a hot day can also pose a serious threat to the entire community. It is important to be aware of the fire rating on the day of your barbecue and follow the rules relating to fire restrictions. Contact your local fire station for more information regarding restrictions in your area.
The Fire Protection Association Australia is the country’s peak body for fire safety, providing information, services and training to the fire protection industry and broader community. For more information, please visit www.fpaa.com.au or contact FPA Australia – (03) 9890 1544.