Gas barbecue safety
A barbecue is a great Australian tradition. However, gas barbecues can be dangerous if not correctly maintained. To keep you safe and ensure your barbecue remains enjoyable it is important to consider:
- gas cylinder transport;
- gas cylinder connection;
- barbecue operation; and
- barbecue maintenance.
Transporting the LP Gas cylinder
Avoid transporting the gas cylinder in an enclosed space such as a boot. If you must transport the cylinder in the cabin of your vehicle, the cylinder should be transported in an upright position, secured with a seat belt and with an open window for ventilation.
Sealing plugs are supplied with exchange cylinders; do not remove the plug until you are ready to connect the barbecue (keep the plug for later use). Do not leave a filled gas cylinder in a vehicle unattended — especially on warmer days — and always leave a window partially opened.
Connecting the gas barbecue
Most LP Gas barbecues are connected to a 9kg gas cylinder that has a left handed thread. Unscrew the sealing plug and retain it for later use. Check the male brass connection for a rubber nose or an “O” ring. These rubber seals enable the barbecue to be connected without the use of tools and can be hand tightened. Once tightened use a soapy water solution sprayed over this joint to ensure it is leak free; if bubbles occur on this joint, tighten it up further.
Replacement rubber seals can be purchased from your local hardware store or any outdoor/recreational specialist store.
Operating the gas barbecue
Most gas barbecues are designed and approved for outdoor use only. When setting up the barbecue, select a position that is protected from wind. Only light the barbecue one burner at a time — some barbecues have a piezo igniter for this. The design of the barbecue will allow cross lighting of the next adjacent burner but even so, keep your face a distance away if you must look at the burners. Keep small children and pets away when cooking as the barbecue will be hot.
Some operating instructions supplied with the barbecue may call for the drip tray (if fitted) to be filled with sand. It is preferred that the tray be lined with aluminium foil. Sand in the tray tends to accumulate the fat from the cooking process. The fat can readily ignite causing a fire. It is also easier to dispose of the aluminium foil once the barbecue has cooled down.
When finished with the barbecue, close off the cylinder valve first and then the burners.