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Barbecue, LPG gas cylinder fires to drop with new connection

Wednesday 23 November 2022 at 4:00 pm

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), Country Fire Authority (CFA) and The Alfred have joined forces to remind the community about new, safer barbecue connections.

The important reminder comes as ESV launches its 2022 Know the Drill Before You Grill campaign, reminding Victorians about a simple safety tip to protect from barbecue-related LPG cylinder fires and explosions.

Every summer, firefighters are called to LPG cylinder-related incidents with severe cases resulting in people being rushed to hospital trauma centres.

To combat this, ESV has led the introduction of new Australian Standards over the past 18 months, resulting in new barbecue connections and cylinder valves that when imperfectly connected will not 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.

The LCC27 barbecue connection also features a thermal cut-off, which stops gas from flowing if there is a fire at the cylinder connection. While the rubber seal inside the new valve is also protected from exposure so it is less likely to deteriorate and need replacing. It can be checked when the cylinder is being refilled.

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

The Alfred said burns from gas cylinder fires were common. Injuries suffered from these incidents were often incredibly debilitating with burns mainly affecting the hands and face.

Importantly, new barbecue connections are only compatible with the corresponding new cylinder connection.

The safest thing to do, if you have a barbecue with the new connection but an older cylinder, is to is swap the old cylinder for one featuring the new connection at local hardware stores or service stations.

Barbecues with the older Type 21 POL connection work with both new LCC27 and old Type 21 cylinder valves.

When using the older Type 21 POL connection with the new LCC27 cylinder valve, ensure the appliance connection is screwed in adequately by hand if you find that gas is not flowing when operating your barbecue.

Do not attempt to use tools such as multigrips or wrenches to force the cylinder valve handle past its fully open position or to further tighten the appliance connection as this can irreparably damage both the cylinder valve and the appliance connection.

Know the Drill Before You Grill highlights this simple safety message, calling for barbecuers to connect their cylinder and barbecue, turn the gas on and squirt soapy water on the connections. If no bubbles appear, you’re safe to cook. If you see bubbles, turn off the gas immediately and re-check the hose and connections to make sure they are tight. If bubbles continue to appear turn the gas off and have the connection replaced.

Details: esv.vic.gov.au/knowthedrill

ESV Commissioner and Chairperson Marnie Williams

“This new technology is something ESV has led the delivery of in order to protect the community against incorrectly connected LPG cylinders.” “If you do have a barbecue with the new connection, you need to ensure your gas cylinder has the corresponding valve. You can easily replace old cylinders with new cylinders at your local service station or hardware store.” “While this is an important step in protecting lives and property, we also encourage Victorians to carry out the simple soapy water test every time they use their barbecue.”

FRV’s Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block

“Firefighters attend dozens of avoidable barbeque fires every year, so it’s important to know the drill before you grill. “Test the connection to the gas cylinder every time you connect it by spraying with soapy water. Bubbles will form if gas is escaping.” “Doing these simple checks can help keep you and your loved ones safe.” “If your barbeque does catch fire, remember to call Triple Zero (000), and if it is safe to do so, turn off the gas at the meter or cylinder.”

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan

“Our firefighters responded to almost 200 barbecue-related fires last financial year, so it’s vitally important for Victorians to stay safe by making a few quick checks and using the new connections.” “Remember to use your barbecue in a clear space; never use it indoors or in a confined area without clearance from walls, fences and other property. “Remove excess fat from the barbecue after each use to prevent fires the next time you decide to light it up.” The Alfred Health Burns Surgeon Dane Holden “Burns suffered in these incidents are often incredibly debilitating because they mainly affect the hands and face and require painful grafting.” “However, in some instances, clothing can set alight and cause catastrophic injury.” “These are very avoidable injuries by simply taking a moment to follow a few precautions.”

Media contact: Adrian Bernecich 0437 729 194 | adrian.bernecich@energysafe.vic.gov.au