Seniors Online logo

Do the drill before you grill

Spring marks the beginning of the barbecue season so it’s important to check your equipment before using it.


Spring marks the beginning of the barbecue season and it’s important to check your equipment before using it. Barbecues that are damaged or faulty can create fires that quickly lead into house fires.

Last summer, there were over 100 dangerous barbecue fires involving LP Gas cylinders in Victoria. That’s more than one fire every day of summer. Some of those barbecue fires turned into house fires, resulting in serious burns and the loss and damage of family homes.

So to stay safe, know the following drill before you grill.

The drill

  1. Get into the habit of doing a soapy water check. Squirt your gas connection with soapy water to make sure there are no leaks. If no bubbles appear, you’re safe to use.
  2. Inspect the hose for signs of perishing or cracking – if the hose is cracked or perished, don’t use the BBQ until the hose has been replaced.
  3. Use a squeezy bottle filled with soapy water to check the connection for gas leaks (use dishwashing liquid and water). Squirt the connection with the suds from the soapy water solution.
    – Bubbles will form if gas is escaping.
    – Leak-test the connection to the cylinder every time you connect it or change cylinders.
    – Serious leaks are common and can be very dangerous.
    – Check and leak test the connection every time you barbecue.
  4. If no bubbles appear, you’re safe to cook.

What to do if you see bubbles:

  • Switch off the gas immediately.
  • Re-check the hose to make sure it hasn’t perished.
  • Re-check connections to make sure they are tight – get into the habit of doing this regularly.
  • Check that the O ring on the connection hasn’t perished.
  • Check the gas cylinder for damage.
    – Note: you can’t refill an LP Gas cylinder if it hasn’t been tested for over 10 years, or if the cylinder has been damaged. Always exchange LP Gas cylinders at a reputable supplier.
  • Re-test with soapy water, and if bubbles still form, turn off the gas. Your LP Gas cylinder or hose may need replacing.

Storing or transporting LP Gas cylinders

Some safety tips for storing or transporting LP Gas Cylinders are:

  • Remember to close the valves on LP Gas cylinders whenever they are not in use, particularly when they are being transported.
  • When transporting an LP Gas cylinder, ensure that it is securely restrained in your vehicle – use a sturdy container, such as a milk crate, to keep the cylinder upright and steady.
  • Make sure you have good ventilation in your vehicle.
  • Find out more about the drill before you grill from EnergySafe VictoriaExternal Link .

Reviewed 20 December 2022

EnergySafe Victoria

ESV is a technical and safety regulator responsible for the safe generation, supply and use of electricity, gas and pipelines in Victoria