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Bin fire prompts barbecue safety warning

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service was called to the incident in Besford Court Estate just before 1am and one fire crew from Pershore Fire Station attended.

Firefighters found a fire involving two external bins which had spread to a nearby shed and to the guttering and a ground floor window of the house, and they used one hose reel and thermal imaging equipment as they brought the fire under control.

Watch Commander Justin Challenger from Pershore Fire Station said: “The fire destroyed the two bins and caused significant damage to a wooden shed, a section of guttering and a window on the ground floor of the house, and it had the potential to develop further if it had not been noticed when it was.”

He explained that the occupants had cooked outside on a barbecue earlier the previous evening, thrown the barbecue away in an external bin and then when they were inside much later washing up, they heard a noise outside that they thought was rain but discovered it to be the sound of the fire burning.

He urged anyone using a charcoal barbecue to take note of this incident and to take extreme care themselves when disposing of charcoal and disposable barbecue trays after use.

Always ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it and the ashes are completely cold before disposing of them. Take extra care with plastic bin bags, dustbins and wheelie bins.
Further tips on barbecue safety include:

  • Keep a bucket of water, a bucket of sand or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Never leave the barbecue unattended.
  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of about 5cm (2 inches).
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
  • Use only recognised lighters or starter fuel on cold coals. Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue.
  • Never tip hot charcoal or ashes into plastic bin bags, dustbins or wheelie bins which can melt.
  • Enjoy yourself but don’t drink too much alcohol if you’re in charge of the cooking.