Safe check your barbecue before your cup day activities

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CFA is urging Victorians to be extra vigilant this Melbourne Cup weekend, for outdoor activities and barbecue gatherings, to prevent fires.


With temperatures set to reach the mid to high twenties in most parts of the state over the next week, residents, particularly in the west should be mindful to monitor and check conditions before firing up their barbecue, lighting a campfire or burning off.

Having responded to more than 209 barbecue fires within CFA’s response area between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023, Chief Officer Jason Heffernan encourages people to conduct a quick safety check before igniting.

“Take a few minutes to inspect your gas bottle for leaks before you connect it to keep you and your loved ones safe,” CO Heffernan said.

“Before turning it on, give the hose and regular connections a spray with soapy water. You’ll then know if there is a leak when you turn on the gas, because soapy bubbles will appear.

“If this happens, turn off the gas and correct or replace the connections. Taking the time to do this could save your property and family’s life.”

CO Jason Heffernan reminds Victorians to make sure they place their barbecues in an outdoor area clear from confined walls to avoid preventable fires.

“Never leave your cooking unattended and make sure you’ve removed any flammable items nearby before cooking.” CO Heffernan said.

“If your barbecue does catch fire, turn off the gas at the cylinder or meter, but only if it is safe to do so, and if you’re unable to extinguish the fire safely, call Triple Zero (000).”

Private burn-offs, barbecues and backyard campfires can quickly escape and spark if left unattended.

"Make sure to check the Fire Danger Ratings before igniting a campfire or barbecue in their backyard,” CO Heffernan said.

“The quickest and easiest way to safeguard yourself and the rest of the community is to register your burn-off using the Fire Permits Victoria website.

“Check and monitor local conditions on the day, as well as coming days before your activity as they can change quickly, and see fires becoming out of control within minutes.”

Visit our website at for advice on what you can and can’t do during Fire Danger Periods and Total fire Bans and how to best prepare your property.

Safety measures this long weekend:

  • Check for gas leaks by spraying soapy water on the connections and hoses. Bubbles will appear if there is a leak when you turn on the gas. 
  • Newly manufactured LPG gas appliances are fitted with a safer gas connection to prevent gas from being released if the connection is not properly fitted. 
  • Always exchange cylinders using reputable suppliers.
  • Never use your barbecue indoors and ensure there is enough clearance from walls, fences, and other flammable items.
  • If a fire occurs, turn off the gas at the cylinder or meter, but only if safe to do so. In most cases this should allow the fire to extinguish itself. 
  • If you’re unable to extinguish the fire safely, call Triple Zero (000).
  • The quickest way to register your burn-off is online at burn-off registration line is available on 1800 688 511.
  • Make sure your household has a Bushfire Survival Plan. Find out how at
  • The maximum penalty for lighting or maintaining a fire during a Total Fire Ban is $43,617 and/or two years in jail. You can report unattended campfires to 136 186 or call Triple Zero (000) to report a bushfire.


Submitted by CFA Media