London Fire Brigade

Fire chief: Take care with Olympic booze and barbecues

26 July 2012

With Olympic fever gripping the capital, London Fire Brigade is urging revellers celebrating with alcohol and BBQs to take care to prevent fires.

An extra five million people are expected to visit the capital during the Games and, combined with the hot weather, the number of people visiting pubs and holding celebratory barbecues is expected to shoot up.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: 

“The combination of the great weather and the Games means that we’re expecting lots of people to visit pubs in London, just as they did for the Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012.  Pubs are a great place to enjoy the games, and TfL are also encouraging Londoners to pop into the pub to avoid the Olympic rush hour in the capital.”

Leading supermarkets have also said they expect sales of alcohol to rise by up to 30 per cent during the Games.

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:

“I’m as excited as anybody about the Games coming to London, it’s a cause for massive celebration.

“During the Olympics, millions of people will be hitting the pubs and thousands more will be holding barbecues. We just want to remind everyone to use a bit of common sense, especially if you’re having a few drinks. If you’re tipsy after celebrating another gold for Team GB, it’s much safer to get a takeaway, rather than attempting to cook or use the barbecue.”

The Brigade’s top Olympic safety tips are:

1)            Grab a takeaway if you’ve had a few drinks – it’s much safer than attempting to cook or use the barbecue
2)            Keep barbecues well away from fences, sheds and trees and make sure they’re completely out once you’ve finished with them
3)            Don’t use barbecues on wooden decking or balconies and never light them with fuel or petrol

If the weather take a turn for the worse, the Brigade is also keen to warn people never to take disposable barbecues inside as the carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal.


Notes to editors

Alcohol and fires

Recent research from the Brigade shows that:

• Two fires a day happen after Londoners have been drinking.
• One in four people who die in a fire has alcohol in their system.
• Three quarters of alcohol related fires are caused by cooking under the influence.
• Over half of these fires happen because someone has fallen asleep.

More information on barbecue safety can be found on the Brigade’s website.