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CFA Chief Officer on Today Show
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington speaks to Channel Nine’s Today Show about barbecue safety ahead of the Christmas period.
** Interview transcript**
PETE STEFANOVIC: Temperatures are set to soar over the long weekend period sparking fresh concerns over our safety especially around the barbecue. Chief Officer Steve Warrington from the Country Fire Authority is with us now. It looks like it's going to be a scorcher this weekend, so what are your main concerns?
STEVE WARRINGTON, CFA CHIEF OFFICER: G'day Peter. The next three days look warm right across the country in Australia which is great news. This season we are suggesting to people the only person you want attending is Santa and not the emergency services. For us this same period last year we had 240 fires started by barbecues. As you get your barbecue out it's time to give it a check. The main bit is between the gas cylinder and the barbecue itself. We are asking people to make sure that the connections are tight and secure, make sure the hose is in good nick and have a great barbecue, is essentially the message. But we do get lots of fires started from barbecues.
STEFANOVIC: How does that happen?
WARRINGTON: Essentially people not checking them. Last year alone 240 barbecue fires, a couple of those instances we had three men between 40 and 50 flown to hospital as a result of actually not tightening up the barbecue on to where it connects on to the cylinder. The gas leaks out, you've got the barbecue going, the gas moves over to where the flame is, it ignites. Whoosh, the next thing you know we have got a fire.
STEFANOVIC: I just got myself a new Weber Q, it's fantastic. Are there any sorts of models that you should be playing closer attention to, maybe earlier model is rather than the new models? Or could I quite possibly still be causing some damage somewhere?
WARRINGTON: It's not so much the model, make sure it's operating properly. There can be operator error. We had another one last season were people were using their barbecue inside and the connection wasn't quite right, the gas built up inside and we had an explosion. Again, those people transported to hospital. It’s common sense, check your barbecue before you light it up, particularly the first time in the season. Make sure the connections are right, make sure the hose is well connected, make sure the barbecue operates properly. We use barbecues, we have fun with barbecues and it's a great outdoor activity. Let's just make sure it's safe and let's make sure that it is only Santa that comes this Christmas.
STEFANOVIC: You are right about that. Steve Warrington, thank you very much for your time this morning and have a great Christmas.
WARRINGTON: Merry Christmas Pete and crew.