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BBQ fire caused by build up of fat residue

Many people are hosting BBQ's and entertaining friends during the festive season but do not properly maintain their BBQ so it is safe to use.

Last night Wollert Fire Brigade supported by Epping Fire Brigade responded to a BBQ fire caused by a build up of fat residue which ignited when exposed to heat while the BBQ was in use.

Luckily the resident was able to safely extinguish the fire before our arrival and damage was contained to the BBQ and last nights dinner.

Fat fires are caused by using too much oil, or by or a build-up of fat on the drip tray or hotplates after several barbeques, or both.

Always check the drip tray for excessive build-up of fat before and after each use and if a build-up exists you need to clean out the drip tray.

If you have a fat fire while using your BBQ, try not to panic, and remember to NEVER use water to put out the flames!

Here is the correct way to put out a fat fire: If the BBQ hood is down: Turn off the gas bottle or gas valve. Do not open the hood! If you do more oxygen will be available to the fire which will increase its intensity. Simply wait for the gas to stop flowing through the hose and the flames will soon subside, then step away and monitor the BBQ while you it cools down.

If the BBQ hood is up: Turn off the gas and use a fire blanket to smother the flames. If you don't have a fire blanket the next best option is to use a dry chemical power fire extinguisher. Once the flames are out then step away and monitor the BBQ while you it cools down. Do not attempt to put out the fire if it's out of control – in that case, call the fire brigade.

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