Staying BBQ Safe at Home
Summer is a great time to spend more time outdoors with family and friends, and as such, many of us like to cook and eat outdoors. So here are our top tips for staying BBQ safe this summer.
- Never use any sort of BBQ, indoors or on a balcony – the wind may carry smouldering ash towards nearby grassland or neighbouring properties, starting a fire.
- Be careful where you position your BBQ. Choose level ground, well away from anything combustible like sheds, fences, trees, or tents.
- Never use petrol, paraffin, or any flammable liquids to start or revive your BBQ – use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals.
- Carefully supervise children – little ones can all too easily trip and fall, while older children might hurt themselves trying to help.
- Beware of the dog (and sometimes cats!). They can’t resist the smell of a sizzling sausage and can cause accidents getting under your feet. To be really safe, keep the pooch indoors whilst cooking, or at least out of the immediate vicinity of the BBQ.
- Never use a disposable BBQ in a public park or open green space. When disposable BBQs are not put out properly, they can cause grass fires, especially in hot weather when the ground is dry. They also pose a threat to wildlife and the environment.
- BBQs can stay hot for hours, so be really careful moving them. They also give off carbon monoxide fumes for several hours after they go out, so don’t bring them indoors, or into a tent, with you.
- The ground beneath a disposable BBQ can remain searingly hot for hours after it has been removed, posing a risk to anyone who might walk over 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.
- Always keep water nearby.
Gas barbecues come with their own set of risks so follow the advice below for a safer summer:
- Never store gas cylinders under the stairs – if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route. Store them outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.
- Take care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off. After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will control any gas from leaking.
- If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing soapy water around all joints, watching for bubbles – remove any sources of ignition and inform others of the problem while you resolve it – follow advice from a competent source.
- Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
- Change gas cylinders outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, and make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure – keep away from sources of ignition.