AS Queenslanders light a campfire or fire up a barbie over the Christmas and the New Year break, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is reminding people to put safety first.
QFES Acting Commissioner Mark Roche said it was essential holiday makers understood fire precautions and preparations, especially when lighting a campfire or a barbeque or using matches and lighters.
“Be aware of the rules and regulations around lighting fires in certain locations when you’re on holidays,” Mr Roche said.
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“Ensure the fire is built safely in a cleared area, away from overhanging branches and a reasonable distance from your tent or sleeping area.
“Fires need to be contained and monitored at all times. Children and pets should never be left unsupervised around an open fire.
“Heightened fire conditions are not uncommon at this time of the year. Even a small campfire left unattended or not extinguished properly could spread quickly and result in a large scale bushfire which could threaten nearby property and even lives.”
Mr Roche said campfires should never be extinguished with sand or dirt as this could lead to a fire hazard and result in a burn injury.
“Although it may appear that a fire is extinguished, a campfire covered with sand or dirt can radiate heat of more than 100 degrees, eight hours after it was put out.
“Always use water to extinguish your campfire. A fire that is put out with water holds little or almost no heat 10 minutes later.”
Mr Roche said before firing up the barbeque this festive season, people were reminded to be vigilant and check the gas cylinders, barbeque hoses and valves before use.
“Barbeques use gas and fire which can be potentially hazardous and dangerous materials if used incorrectly. Always exercise caution and avoid using accelerants such as petrol or flammable liquids when lighting up,” he said.
“Check your barbeque, set it up in an appropriate location and avoid a Christmas or New Year’s barbeque disaster.”