The West

Summer warning over barbecue gas cylinders
Summer warning over barbecue gas cylinders

As barbies and gas cylinders are dragged out for a new sizzling season, authorities are warning people to be careful when firing up or filling up.

Fire & Rescue NSW and WorkCover issued a joint warning on Wednesday aimed at NSW residents.

The warning follows recent service station fires and a series of LPG and barbecue fires caused largely by wear and tear on gas hoses and burners.

WorkCover's health and safety manager John Watson said the station fires at Newtown and Hoxton Park were sparked by unsafe decanting of LPG into smaller cylinders for use in barbecues.

"LPG cylinders should be earthed while being filled by placing them on the ground to limit the risk of static electricity build from the flow of gas," Mr Watson said in a statement.

"They should also never be left unattended while being filled as this can lead to overfilling and gas escaping."

Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins said since June 1 this year, firefighters had responded to 64 barbecue fires and 67 leaking or damaged LPG cylinders and hoses, most from barbecue cylinders.

"When a cylinder leaks, especially on balconies, the gas pools until something ignites it like a cigarette or an electrical spark."

Mr Mullins said that happened at a residential unit on August 29, when the resulting explosion and fire caused extensive damage and nearly claimed the lives of the family who lived there.

"The barbecue hadn't been used for several months and the cylinder had not been turned off. When the air conditioner kicked in, the gas ignited."

Mr Mullins said if LPG cylinders and hoses looked old or perished they should be checked by a specialist at local barbecue, camping or caravan stores.

He said a new hose and regulator for gas cylinders could be purchased for less than $50.

The West Australian

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