The country’s worst barbeque chefs revealed
With high fire danger ratings set to continue across many parts of the country, Australians are urged to be cautious when firing up the barbeque this long weekend.
Insurance claims data from Suncorp reveals that in 2019, more than 120 households experienced a barbeque fire or explosion, resulting in considerable damage and, in several instances, intervention from fire emergency services.
Suncorp Insurance Head of Consumer Property Claims Paige Vincent said that with fire authorities and volunteers still working to control the bushfires in several states, it’s particularly important to play it safe around the barbeque this long weekend.
“For many Australians, a quintessential way to enjoy the long weekend is with a barbeque, however our experience tells us that fires caused by a barbeque can happen to even the most experienced backyard chefs.”
I started the barbeque to cook dinner and left it to heat up. Shortly afterwards, my wife ran inside to tell me there were flames coming from the barbeque and our fence had been set on fire.Suncorp customer
Alarmingly, New South Wales households experienced the highest number (40) of barbeque fire-related incidents during 2019, followed by Victoria where 27 incidents occurred.
Queenslanders experienced half the amount of barbeque fires compared to those in New South Wales, while those up in Northern Territory were the safest with Suncorp receiving no claims in 2019.
A Suncorp customer said, “my husband was cooking a roast on our Weber barbeque and the flames went out of control. The barbeque was completely on fire, all the knobs melted and it was completely charred.”
Another person recalled, “I started the barbeque to cook dinner and left it to heat up. Shortly afterwards, my wife ran inside to tell me there were flames coming from the barbeque and our fence had been set on fire.”
Barbeque fires are typically caused by unsafe gas cylinders, greasy grills or food being left unattended while cooking.
“If you do plan to fire up the barbeque this Australia Day, make sure you check the gas bottle for any leaks before you begin and only turn the gas on when you are ready to start cooking,” Ms Vincent said.
“Whether you are grilling at home, at a park or elsewhere, it’s important to never leave your barbeque unattended while it’s turned on.”
“After cooking, always make sure the barbeque is cleaned thoroughly to avoid fat, oil or leftover residue from catching on fire next time the barbeque is turned on.”
According to 2019 Suncorp claims data, January is the most frequent month for barbeque fires, while the lowest number of incidents were reported in July.