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Your barbecue health check to stay safe this summer

Families are dusting down their barbecues ready for summer, but before we stock up on prawns and steak it’s important to put aside time for a barbecue health check.

Like all seasonal appliances that lie dormant over winter, a little maintenance is essential in providing a safe environment for your family home, particularly when using gas.

Pre-barbecue safety tips

  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions on both the barbecue and gas cylinder.
  • Check your cylinder for dents and erosion. Damaged Kwik-Gas cylinders should be taken to an outlet and swapped for a new or refurbished cylinder.
  • Check your cylinder is in-date and certified. Cylinders should be re-tested and stamped every 10 years.
  • Check the hose; it shouldn’t be cracked or have any kinks. It’s good practice to replace the hose every five years, as they inevitably deteriorate with age.
  • Check the hose connection is secure to prevent leaks. You can test for leaks by turning on the gas and spraying the connection with soapy water. If bubbles appear, you’ve sprung a leak so switch the gas off and return the cylinder to your supplier.
  • Always use the correct hose – don’t try a DIY job by using a different hose or connection.
  • Give your barbecue a good scrub before using. Clean the grills and drip trays, making sure they are clear of grease and fat, which can provoke a fire. Make sure the control knobs move freely and the burners aren’t blocked.

Do you know how to check how much gas you have left in your barbecue cylinder? Let’s find out.

  • Get a licensed gas fitter to check your barbecue every two years. They can repair or replace any parts needed.
  • Only use your barbecue in a well ventilated area, never indoors.
  • Choose a flat, sturdy surface to position the barbecue.
  • Keep children and pets at a safe distance.
  • You should not have to use force to open the gas cylinder valve, contact your local supplier if in doubt.
  • Be cautious of windy conditions; if the wind blows the flame out, gas will still be released. The build up of gas may lead to a fire.
  • When you have finished cooking, turn off the gas before the barbecue. This allows the excess gas in the hose to burn off rather than being trapped. Always detach the gas cylinder from the barbecue when not in use.

For clear instructions on how to connect your Kwik-Gas cylinder to your barbecue, watch this short video.

Barbecue and gas cylinder storage safety

  • Make sure valves are firmly closed when not in use.
  • Store gas cylinders outside in a shady, cool area – never in direct sunlight.
  • Make sure cylinders remain secure and upright.
  • Store away from potential hazards (i.e. an ignition source).
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Kwik-Gas is Kleenheat’s a gas cylinder exchange program, with retailers offering  3.7kg and 8.5kg cylinders.

By following these safety tips you’ll help ensure your barbecue is fit for the upcoming months.

If you’ve been meaning to pick up a new cylinder, keep in mind we’re approaching a busy barbecue season – get in quick to beat the festive demand.

Being prepared now means next time someone suggests a last minute barbecue, you’ll have your tongs at the ready!