Download the PDF file: Barbeque Safety

Listen to the audio version:  Barbeque Safety

Barbeques are a very popular way of cooking and are part of the Australian summer lifestyle, but they are also a source of many fires each year. Preparing for the barbeque season and using the barbeque safely will go a long way towards making it an enjoyable summer.

Pre-Summer Check

Barbeques are usually kept outside, and they deteriorate quickly in the weather. Don’t assume that your barbeque will be in the same condition as when you used it last.

Before using your barbeque, it’s important to do a maintenance check.

  • Check the expiry date on your gas cylinder. Gas cylinders must be tested every 10 years.
  • Visually check all hose-lines for splits, cracks or deterioration of the surface. You should replace the hose if it shows any signs of damage or degradation. If the hose needs replacing it is good practice to replace the entire regulator assembly, as the rubber diaphragm inside the regulator also wears with age.
  • Check the gas cylinder to make sure that it is in good condition with no dents or bulges. If rust on the cylinder is more than surface deep the cylinder should be tested or replaced.
  • Check that all “o” rings are in good condition and are present where they are part of the connection. They must be soft and pliable, not hard and cracked.
  • Check all hose connections and control valves (including regulators) for gas leaks. Turn the cylinder on, and with the barbeque knobs turned off, use a very wet soapy cloth, a paint brush and soapy solution or a spray bottle with soapy water and apply copious amounts of soapy water over all the hoses and valves. Bubbles forming will indicate a gas leak. NOTE: Do not use any solution that contains ammonia as ammonia can cause the brass connections
    to become brittle and crack.
    * Give the barbeque a good scrub to remove fat build-up and empty the fat tray under the barbeque.

When Using Your Gas Barbeque

  • Check that hoses and connections are clear of burners or hot metal parts.
  • Do not use the barbeque under the eaves of the house.
  • Never use barbeques inside. Only use them outside in well ventilated areas to avoid the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Outdoor areas with the blinds down is not a well ventilated area.
  • Ensure that nothing flammable is above or around the barbeque.
  • Wear a shirt or top with close fitting sleeves when barbequing.
  • Do not allow a build-up of fats and oils in drip tray and regularly clean the plate or grill to prevent flare ups.
  • Check gas connections for leaks every time the gas cylinder is changed.
  • If the barbeque has a hood, always light it with the hood raised.
  • Keep children and pets away from hot surfaces.
  • During the Bushfire Danger Season always check for Fire Bans and any local council restrictions before you light up. Ring 1300 362 361.

When Using Your Wood or Solid Fuel Barbeque

  • Keep fire starters, matches and lighters in a secure place. Don’t leave them around for children to find.
  • Do not burn treated timber as the chemicals released in the smoke are toxic.
  • Do not use an accelerant, like petrol, to assist in lighting the kettle or barbeque.
  • Dispose of ashes with care – ensure that ashes are cold.
  • During the Bushfire Danger Season always check for Fire Bans and any local council restrictions before you light up. Ring 1300 362 361.
  • The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has a range of provisions in the Environmental Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 which aims to minimise the impact of smoke in metropolitan areas. Check these provisions as they apply to the preparation of food and outdoor heating

Combine the above safety tips with the installation of well-maintained, photo-electric smoke alarms in your home that are less than 10 years old. Consider having all your smoke alarms interconnected.

For further advice:


Phone: (08) 8204 3611

Country Callers: 1300 737 637

Want more information on cooking safety?

Look at our Cooking Fact Sheet