BBQs spark bin fires over weekend


Release date: 17 June 2020

Firefighters are urging residents to think twice before binning their BBQs.

The warning comes after crews responded to a number of fires involving rubbish bins, only to find a discarded disposable BBQ had started the fire.

In the first incident of the season on May 27, crews from Littlehampton were mobilised to Marina Gardens, Beach Road after a member of the public saw smoke coming from a public litter bin. Upon arrival crews extinguished the fire, and soon discovered a discarded disposable BBQ inside the bin. The BBQ had not been left to cool properly and the hot coals had ignited the rest of the rubbish. The heat from the fire was so powerful it completely destroyed the plastic rubbish bin.

Then over the course of the weekend, the retained crew based at Shoreham Fire Station were called out to two further incidents. The first at Kingston Beach near Brighton Road on Saturday at 6.52pm, and the second at Forthaven, Shoreham Beach on Sunday at 4.40pm.

On both occasions, disposable BBQs were the cause of the fire.

Nicki Peddle, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Head of Prevention, said: “When summer arrives, it’s hard to beat a BBQ on the beach. And given this recent period of social distancing, we can completely understand people wanting to get out and make the most of the lovely summer weather.

“But we would just ask that you please think twice before disposing of your BBQ. These single use BBQs are designed to get extremely hot very rapidly, and they take a long time to cool down. Make sure it is extinguished fully and completely cool before taking it anywhere near a bin full of rubbish.

“To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and even then make sure you pour lots of water over it to make sure it is out before putting it in the bin.

“On each occasion recently, someone was nearby and spotted smoke coming from the bin and we were able to contain the fire, but it wouldn’t take very much in these dry conditions for a fire to spread and get out of control very quickly.”

You can find information about where it is permitted to have a BBQ on the beach in West Sussex on the following websites:

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