FIRE & Rescue NSW is urging residents to check their barbecue following a spate of LPG (liquified petroleum gas) explosions in the past few days.
FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said FRNSW has attended nine LPG explosions which, in some cases, caused serious injury and extensive property damage.
"These figures are quite alarming so I encourage people not to be complacent when firing up their barbecue this season," he said.
"Simple precautions and a little bit of planning and care helps to avoid accidents, prevent bushfires and property damage.
"When using the barbecue, set it up in an area that has been cleared of vegetation, on a firm, level base sheltered from the wind and away from garden sheds and fences. Have a supply of water close by and, if possible, a fire extinguisher as well."
Other top tips to follow when using your barbecue include:
Service and maintain your barbecue correctly - check cylinders for rust or damage and make sure connections are clear and fit properly before lighting. To check for gas leakage, spray soapy water on any suspect connection or hose and watch for bubbles. If in doubt, turn off the gas and have a licensed gas fitter attend to the hose or connection
Follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the correct start up and shut down procedures. After use, make sure the gas is turned off at the cylinder
Never put flammable liquid on a barbecue
Check Total Fire Ban details before lighting your barbecue
Keep children away from the barbecue
Make sure store lighters and matches are in a secure place
If a gas leak occurs, and it is safe to do so, shut off the cylinder immediately and allow any gas to disperse
After use, make sure the gas is turned off at the cylinder
Call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency
Barbecue fire safety fact sheets can be downloaded from www.fire.nsw.gov.au or visit Total Fire Ban information at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au
If you need any further advice or information, contact your nearest FRNSW station.