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When the sun starts shining, temperatures rise, and you may be tempted to do some outdoor cooking.

Barbecue showing meat and kebabs cooking

Before lighting the coals, please consider the following safety tips, so any charring remains on your burgers and bangers, and doesn’t spread further! 

What NOT to do

Barbecues generally:

  • Never use petrol, paraffin or any other flammable liquids on a barbecue, or anywhere near it.
  • Never leave the barbecue unattended. 
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol when cooking.
  • Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire. 
  • Never take a barbecue inside a tent, camper or other enclosed shelter, as this can cause Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors or under an awning. 
  • If you live in a flat, do not use a barbecue on a balcony, if a fire develops it could spread to neighbouring balconies and flats.

Disposable barbecues:

  • Never place a disposable barbecue on a unstable surface, or anything that could catch light (such as grass or wood).

Charcoal barbecues:

  • Never use more charcoal then you need.

Gas barbecues:

  • Never be tempted to use a gas barbecue that you think may be faulty or damaged.
  • Never smoke while changing your gas.

What TO do

Barbecues generally:

  • Make sure the barbecue is in good working order.  
  • Make sure the barbecue is on a flat site, well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs and garden waste. 
  • Follow the safety and usage instructions provided.
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area. 
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand, or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Ensure the BBQ is cool before attempting to move it.

Disposable barbecues:

  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues. 
  • Place disposable barbecues on an even surface using either bricks or paving slabs.

Charcoal barbecues:

  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue.
  • Only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel, and only on cold coals – use the minimum necessary.

Gas Barbecues: 

  • Ensure the tap is turn off before changing the gas cylinder. 
  • Check the hose for signs of perishing and replace if necessary.
  • Change cylinders in well ventilated areas. 
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost. 
  • Take care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off.
  • Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure.
  • If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing soapy water around all joints, watching for bubbles. 
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking.

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