BBQs and Gas Cylinders

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

BBQs and Gas Cylinders

Many Kiwi homes have a gas-powered BBQ outside. These are great for cooking during the summer, but can also pose a fire risk if not stored and maintained correctly.

Here are some tips for reducing the risk of fire when using BBQs and gas cylinders.

The soap bubble test

A common cause of BBQ fires is gas leaking from where the BBQ hose fits into the cylinder valve.

Whenever you connect a gas cylinder to a BBQ, make sure it's hand tight. You can do this by turning the gas cylinder on, and then pouring a little soapy solution (1/4 cup of water and a squirt of liquid suds) over the valve.

If any bubbles are created you may have a gas leak. Turn the valve off and replace the cylinder O-ring.

BBQs

  • BBQs are potentially dangerous when used carelessly or when consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Treat your BBQ the same way you would a stove: don't drink and fry, and avoid leaving cooking unattended.
  • Ensure you regularly check and maintain any fittings and connections. Use the soap bubble test to make sure there are no leaks.
  • Leave plenty of clear space around the BBQ. Make sure there is no nearby debris that could catch fire.
  • Supervise children at all times when using the BBQ.
  • Remove all excess fat from the BBQ after each use.

Gas cylinders

  • Use the soap bubble test to make sure gas cylinders are secure and not leaking.
  • Make sure the cylinder is turned off when you've finished using it.
  • Have all gas appliances serviced according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Store and install cylinders in an upright position.

Want to make sure your home is fire safe? Use our fire safety checklist to find anything that might be putting you at risk.