Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Service gives advice to stay safe while barbequing

With the weather brightening up this weekend, barbeques will be sizzling across Essex and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is giving its advice to barbeque safely.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is asking everyone cooking up an al fresco feast to follow its advice to enjoy summer safely and prevent fires across the county.

Will Newman, Head of Prevention at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said:  “One of the best parts of summer is getting outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends - many of us can’t wait to get the barbeque lit.

“But behind the bangers and burgers, barbeques can be dangerous if not handled responsibly. Our biggest advice is to set them up well away from houses, sheds, fences, trees and plants so a fire cannot spread.

“Once the barbeque is set up, never leave your cooking unattended and be sure to drink responsibly if you’re in charge of the cooking.

“If you’re planning to use a disposable barbeque while out and about, read the safety instructions provided and make sure to place it on a flat surface like paving slabs or bricks and well away from dry grass, sheds, fences etc. Make sure it’s completely cooled before you put it in the bin. Use water to cool the embers if you need to.

“If you plan a barbeque and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbeque 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.”

Follow the Fire Service’s barbeque advice to make sure your summer barbeques are safe:

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
  • Ensure the barbeque has cooled before handling it and 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 barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking 
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost 

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Page last updated 16 July, 2021

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