GRAND final weekend is traditionally the time that the barbecues come out for the first time in six months, but this year as the Bulldogs and the Demons go to battle, residents are being reminded that this Saturday will look much different.
Despite Ballarat being released from lockdown just in time for the big game on Saturday night, residents are still unable to have visitors to their home, meaning any such annual gatherings will need to be held outside.
But for those who are looking to grab the portable barbecue for an up to 10-person picnic, or head away for the long weekend somewhere in regional Victoria, the CFA is reminding those people to double check your barbecue safety.
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CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said with no visitors allowed at home, he expects regional Victorians to make the most of the long weekend and head to the great outdoors.
"We can't have visitors in our homes yet, but I know many Victorian families and house mates will be keen to fire up their barbecues for the first time of the season as they make the most of the Grand Final long weekend," he said.
He said before putting the sausages on the hot plate, it is important to check there is no leaking gas from the lack of use by putting soapy water on the hose to see if it bubbles or not.
"Soap bubbles will appear if gas is escaping. If this occurs, turn off the gas and correct or replace the connections. Contact a licensed gas fitter if you need assistance or have any doubts about the connections," he said.
Forest Fire Management Victoria chief fire officer Chris Hardman also urged caution around campfires.
"With many regional Victorians planning a trip during the long weekend and the remainder of the school holidays, it's critically important campfire safety remains a priority," he said.
"It's crucial the community works with us to prevent bushfires from starting and pays attention to campfire safety - unattended campfires can spread quickly and have devastating impacts on communities and the environment."