Barbecues can get out of control if you’re not careful. By following a few simple fire safety rules you can enjoy a safe barbecue and prevent accidental fires:
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbeques.
- Never use a barbeque indoors or on balconies.
- Make sure your barbecue is placed on level ground where it will not tip over.
- Keep barbecues away from your home, sheds, fences, garden furniture, trees, shrubs and tents.
- Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbeque.
- Don't put the barbecue where people have to squeeze past it.
- Only use approved barbecue fuel or fire lighters. Never use petrol or paraffin.
- Keep children, pets and garden games well away from the cooking area.
- Never leave the barbecue unattended.
- Watch out when you are cooking fatty foods. Lots of fat spilling onto the coals will cause flames to flare up.
- When you have finished cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before you try to move it.
- Empty the cold ash onto bare garden soil – never put it in the dustbin.
- Where possible keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
Tips for gas barbecues
- Take extra care when turning bottled gas BBQs on and off.
- Make sure the controls and the gas cylinder valve are turned off before you change the cylinder.
- Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure.
- Change the gas cylinder in the open air.
- When you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before the barbecue controls. This makes sure any leftover gas in the pipe is used up.
- Store your gas cylinders outside and protected from frost and sunlight.
- Never store gas cylinders under the stairs- if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route.
- If you think there might be a leak in the gas cylinder connections or pipe, brush soapy water over all of the joints and watch out for bubbles. If you have a leaky joint, try to tighten it (but don't over tighten it) and test for bubbles again. If unsure do not use the barbecue – seek specialist advice.