SA Country Fire Service



Cooking with gas and electric BBQs for the Christmas break


Fire authorities are encouraging South Australians to have a plan B for the use of barbeques on Christmas day in the event a Total Fire Ban is declared later this week.

CFS Director for Preparedness Joel Taggart said Total Fire Bans can throw a spanner in the works for barbeque gatherings and the best alternative is to cook with gas or electricity.

"When Total Fire Bans are announced they contain a series of enforceable restrictions to prevent the start of fires," Mr Taggart said.

"During Total Fire Bans, cooking techniques like coal or kettle barbeques and smokers that use charcoal or wood are banned.

"There is a risk of sparks being blown out of cookers or smokers, and with the elevated dangers of Total Fire Ban conditions, a small spark can become a large fire very quickly.

"We want to make sure that everyone can enjoy their planned barbeque over summer, and the best way to do that is to cook using methods better suited to during the Fire Danger Season.

"Our volunteers deserve a break during the holidays, and you can help them get one by watching the restrictions and reducing the chance of a fire by following the regulations imposed during TFBs."

Gas and electric cookers are permitted for outdoors cooking, within specified guidelines, during a Total Fire Ban.

MFS Acting Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) Greg Howard, recommends when using gas or electric BBQ's, it's important to first complete a safety check beforehand.

"When barbeques are left out in the weather, gas hose lines can deteriorate over time. Grease build-up and gas leaks from weathered hose lines are common causes of barbeque fires.

"Taking five minutes to physically check hose lines for any cracks or splits may save a life, and your home," MFS ACFO Greg Howard said.

"Ensure your BBQ is only used outside in well-ventilated areas to avoid the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. An outdoor area with the blinds down is not a well-ventilated area. It is also important to ensure that nothing flammable is above or around the barbeque," MFS ACFO Howard said.

More BBQ home fire safety tips can be found at

Find out what you can and can't do during a Total Fire Ban at

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 Government of South Australia