Leave your barbecue at home and don’t take it with you on your picnic
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service is asking people from the two counties to stay safe this summer as they make the most of the weather and enjoy the great outdoors, whether cooking, camping or exploring.
Now that the warm, light evenings are with us and the summer holidays are fast approaching, barbecues are beginning to sizzle across the Herefordshire and Worcestershire region.
But the key message is 'leave your barbecue at home and don't take it with you on your picnic'.
The danger of barbecuing is multiplied when you are away from a safe, home environment. But even when you are barbecuing at home, you should be extra vigilant and follow some top tips to ensure that your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event.
If not used safely, barbecues can result in flames spreading to surrounding sheds, fences and trees and in some cases people suffering from burns.
Group Commander Mick Cadman from HWFRS's Community Risk Department said: "Barbecues are a great way to have fun and enjoy the summer sun with friends and family but we'd urge people to ensure they follow some simple fire safety tips.
"The most common problem we come across is barbecues being sited too close to sheds, fences and trees which can very easily catch alight.
"Other issues occur after the barbecues have finished when people dispose of the ashes in their wheelie bins which then melt and set alight. Instead, wait until the ashes are cool and then empty them on to bare garden soil."
Remember these top tips to ensure that your barbecue doesn't leave you with a bad taste and the sort of problems that no-one needs.
Be patient. There have been occasions where people have poured petrol on to the charcoal to get it going and this has resulted in serious injuries
Never use a barbecue indoors or inside a tent. In recent years, some people have sadly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result
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
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
If you're intending to take out your tent, ready your rucksack or get your caravan back on the road, you should go armed with some safety advice before heading for the great outdoors.
Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent
Don't forget to insure all campers know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there's a fire.
Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan
Don't leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire
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