Barbecue safely this summer

19 July 2013

Northamptonshire County Council's fire and rescue service is reminding everyone to barbecue safely this summer.

Summer is definitely here and barbecues are sizzling across the county, so as part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking everyone to take extra care when cooking al fresco, especially when lighting barbecues or dealing with bad weather.

Warren Ellison, Prevention Team Manager, said “After a slow start to the summer it’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends - many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue lit. We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand, but, please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.

“And if you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent. In recent years, some people have sadly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.”

How to barbecue safely

By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips you can ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event.

  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Make sure your 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.
  • 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.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors.

Warren said: “This may seem a long list but most of these things are common sense.

"By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. We have had a couple of 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 well in advance and light the charcoal early. Most of all enjoy yourself safely”.

For more information on fire safety, please visit the Fire Kills Facebook page.

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