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Barbecue safely this summer

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is encouraging people to take care when using their barbecues during the summer.

HWFRS is asking everyone to take extra care when cooking al fresco, especially when lighting barbecues.

Stuart Crebbin, Station Commander said: "It's natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy the 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 it is important to make sure you use the right tools for the job".

He continued: "if you've planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don't take the barbecue indoors or into a tent. In recent years, some people have sadly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer."

By following the following top safety tips you can ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event:

Never leave a barbecue unattended.

Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.

Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.

Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more.

Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.

After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving 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.

Enjoy yourself, but don't drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.

Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

Never use a barbecue indoors.

Station Commander Crebbin finished off by saying: "this may seem a long list but most of these things are common sense. 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 onto the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has been violent and highly dangerous. Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. Most of all, enjoy yourself but do it safely".

For more information on fire safety, please visit www.hwfire.org.uk or @HWFireSafety