Nothing quite says summer like firing up the barbecue and cooking outdoors – but we attend incidents every year where barbecues have gotten out of hand.

Whether you are in the garden or out camping, follow our safety advice and make sure you enjoy your barbecue and avoid injuries, damage to property or the countryside:

Barbecue Safety Tips

To avoid injuries or damage to property follow these simple precautions:

  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Ensure the barbecue is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs.
  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
  • Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it.
  • DO NOT add any flammable liquids (such as lighter fluid or petrol) onto the coals of a lit barbecue.

If you do use a disposable barbecue:

  • It must be placed on an even surface on either bricks or paving slabs
  • Place disposable barbecues well away from the house, shed or fences.
  • Do not use disposable barbecues near or on public benches.
  • If you're using a disposable barbecue 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.
  • Be carful if you have used your barbecue on sand. The sand underneath will become hot enough to burn skin for several hours after the barbecue has gone out.
  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base to a depth of about 50mm (2 inches).
  • 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.
  • 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 off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe work is used up.