Are you planning your first barbecue of the year?

Fri 7 Apr, 2017

With many people apparently planning their first barbecue of the year this weekend because of the good weather forecast, firefighters are urging everyone to take extra care.

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's community safety team, said: “It's natural to want to make the most of the good weather by going outdoors for a barbecue with family and friends.

"However, there are a few things it's worth remembering to make sure you don't end up having to ring 999.

“By following some simple rules, you can ensure your barbecue is a safe and enjoyable event. It's mainly just a matter of common sense.”

Richard's top barbecue safety tips are:

  • Never use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. Prepare well in advance, using enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue - normally around five centimetres.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs and garden waste.
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors.
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • When they are cold, empty ashes on to bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins.
  • Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

Additional safety tips if you have a gas barbecue:

  • Never store gas cylinders under the stairs – if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route.
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.
  • Take care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off.
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing soapy water around all joints, watching for bubbles.
  • Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure.
  • Change gas cylinders outdoors or in a well ventilated area