Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Barbeque safely this summer

With the warmer weather set to continue this week, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service are re-issuing their barbeque fire safety advice so everyone can enjoy the outdoors safely.  


Every year the fire service are called to a number of fires that are started by using a barbecue. Barbeques can be dangerous if not handled responsibly, so it's important to keep safety in mind, especially when kids, loved ones and pets are around.  


Will Newman, Head of Prevention at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: 


“We want everyone to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and delicious barbeque feasts with their friends and family but there are some safety measures that must be followed to ensure that everyone stays safe. To reduce the risk of fire, make sure your barbeque is well away from anything that could catch fire like fences, trees and sheds and make sure that it is attended at all times.” 


Follow the fire service’s advice to stay safe this summer: 


Disposable Barbeques 

  • Always place them on an even surface on either bricks or paving slabs and well away from the house, shed or fences
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbeques. Never use a barbecue indoors
  • If you're using a disposable BBQ ensure it has cooled before putting it in the bin. To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it's out


Charcoal Barbeques 

  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbeque
  • Only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel and only on cold coals - use the minimum necessary and never use petrol. 
  • Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin - they could melt the plastic and cause a fire


Gas Barbeques 

  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder 
  • Change cylinders outdoors if possible or in a well ventilated area 
  • If you suspect a leak to the cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles - tighten to fix but do not overtighten 
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbeque control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost 


Be carbon monoxide aware 

Never use fuel-burning devices (e.g. disposable barbeques, camping stoves, camping heaters, lanterns, and charcoal grills) inside a tent. They give off fumes for hours and hours after you have used them - levels high enough to result in CO poisoning. 


To avoid hazardous CO exposures, fuel-burning equipment should never be used inside a tent, camper, or other enclosed shelter. 


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