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Barbecue fire safety

Find out how to remain safe when using a barbecue.

During the summer we want everyone to enjoy the warm weather and having a barbecue with family and friends is a great way to enjoy the sunshine. However, barbecues pose a huge fire risk, so please follow our advice to help keep yourself, your loved ones and your surroundings safe.

Disposable barbeques

Each summer we are called to numerous fires where the cause is attributed to disposable barbecues - usually because they have been discarded when the barbecue is too hot.

When disposing of your barbecue, make sure you follow our three steps:

  • Sizzle: Don’t underestimate the heat of your barbecue as temperatures soar when cooking!
  • Sit: Leave your barbecue to cool down for several hours.
  • Soak: Cover your barbecue with plenty of water and remember: if it sizzles - it’s still too hot to be binned!

Watch our video on disposable barbecues.

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When looking for places to set up your barbecue, ensure it is placed on a flat surface that won't catch light, for example, stone or paving slabs and away from flammable materials, such as wood - this includes wooden balconies, sheds, fences and overhanging trees.

Never use charcoal barbecues indoors or in enclosed spaces, such as a tent or caravan. Not only is this a fire risk, it can also put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

We would also recommend checking that the area you’re having your barbecue in is an authorised area.

Gas and charcoal barbecues

You should always read the instructions and ensure you’re using the correct method of ignition to light your barbecue. Typically, charcoal barbecues use starter fuel or firelighters. You must never use petrol or paraffin.

When using a gas barbecue, please always ensure it’s turned off before changing the cylinder and do so in an outdoor area.

As with any barbecue, you should never leave it unattended when in use and children and pets should be kept well away.

Last updated:
1 July 2022
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