BBQ SafeThis Summer

Members of the Fingal Bay Probus Club team John Archer, President Jenny Wright and Ross Jennings (BBQ Master organiser) at one of the Port Stephens Council electric barbeques.


THE Christmas holidays are a popular time to step outside our kitchens and crank up the barbeque.

It’s as Australian as meat pies, thongs and giving things a fair go.

While there is plenty of inspiration on television on how to cook outdoors, there is a second set of considerations before we chuck another shrimp on the barbeque.

Firstly we need to check the fire safety rating and make sure that it is legal to use our barbeques.

Wood and charcoal fuelled barbeques are banned at times when the risk of bushfires are increased.

During a Total Fire Ban you can use a gas or electric barbeque provided that it is on a residential property within 20 metres of the house, or it is in a designated picnic area and the barbeque is approved by Council, National Parks or State Forests and it is always attended by a responsible adult.

However the ground within two metres of the barbeque must be cleared of all materials which could burn and you have an immediate and continuous supply of water available.

Giacomo Arnott, Deputy Captain Raymond Terrace Fire and Rescue told News Of The Area, “Throughout the year Fire and Rescue attends hundreds of fires across the state caused by poorly maintained barbecues.

“Before you fire yours up, be sure to service and maintain your gear, check cylinders for rust or damage, have a garden hose nearby, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as you use it.

“It’s also important to always have a sober, responsible adult in charge, who has checked for total fire bans, who only uses the barbeque in a well-ventilated area, and who keeps children away from it.

“While family barbeques can be wonderful outdoor gatherings they can be dangerous with increased risks of burns and spot fires.

“Family barbeques can unfortunately be quite dangerous and we would rather meet you at your barbeque by invitation rather than needing to come and extinguish a fire in it,” he said.

There are electric barbeques around public parks throughout the Port Stephens region which are a great option for families to enjoy at our beaches and in our parks even during total fire bans.



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