Be safe with your barbecues this summer


Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is calling on people to take extra care with barbecues over the summer holidays.

Behind the bangers and burgers, summer fun has a serious side and HWFRS is asking for Herefordshire and Worcestershire residents to be vigilant when cooking outdoors.

Emma Roberts, HWFRS Head of Prevention, said “It’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy warmer weather with family and friends. Many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue lit.

“We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand but please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.

“And if you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent.

“This can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning as well as fire so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.

“By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue.

“We have had a couple of occasions where people have poured petrol on to the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous.

“Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. Most of all, enjoy yourself safely.”

By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips, you can ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event.

  • Never leave a lit barbecue unattended
  • Never use a barbecue indoors
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from buildings, sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue but not more
  • Empty ashes on to bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire
  • Enjoy yourself but don’t drink too much alcohol if in charge of the barbecue
  • Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies
  • Only use ignitable liquids intended for use with barbecues. Petrol should not be used