Fire service stress summer barbecue safety

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are warning about the dangers of summer barbecues if not used or disposed of properly.

Since April, there have been 12 fires in the county caused by barbecues, five of which were due to careless disposal after use.

Another four happened in forestry or grassland.

Fire and Rescue warn that both the above barbecue fires have the potential to spread out to buildings or cause heathland fires.

Here are a few of the fire service’s tips for a fun and safe barbecue:

  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors.
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Make sure the barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more (normally around 5cms or 2 inches).
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
  • Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Store gas cylinders outside away from direct sunlight and frost
  • Change gas cylinders outdoors making sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure.

Deputy Community Fire Safety Manager Debbie Robinson said: “This may seem a long list of things to consider, but most of this is common sense.

“One of the biggest dangers is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue.

“We have had occasions where people have poured petrol onto the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous.

“Prepare for your BBQ well in advance and light the charcoal early to allow it to reach it’s cooking temperature safely.”

For more advice and information, call Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue’s Community Fire Safety team on 01522 582222.

Source: Lincolnshire County Council | Photo: Antoine Rodriguez