Nothing says summer like a sizzling barbecue, but as the weather hots up firefighters are reminding residents to be extra cautious about how they dispose of barbecue coals.
This follows a couple of fires this weekend which were started by hot barbecue coals that had been placed in bins.
The first incident was in Ainsley Way, Chartham, after a fire broke out in a communal bin shed yesterday afternoon (17 July). Residents discovered the fire in a wheelie bin and swiftly pulled the bin out of the storage building before it could spread to the other bins. They started to dowse the fire with buckets of water and when firefighters arrived they used a hose reel to fully extinguish the fire. Fire crews also used a thermal imaging camera to check the fire had not spread.
Crew manager Gary Miller said: “Upon investigation, we identified that the fire was started by a used disposable barbecue which had been put in the bin while it was still hot, causing paper products to ignite.
“The actions of the residents should be praised, as without their quick thinking the fire would have undoubtedly spread to the other wheelie bins and would have caused a more serious fire affecting the entire bin storage building.”
This incident follows a similar fire in Folkestone Harbour on Saturday evening (16 July). Crews were called to a fire after a used disposable barbecue had been placed inside. Crews used flexi packs to put out the fire.
Gary continued: “Fortunately, no one was injured as a result of these fires, but with more people likely to be having barbecues during the hot weather, they serve as a timely reminder for people to take extra care when disposing of hot coals.
"Always make sure the barbecue is cool before trying to move it and never put ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin. Empty the cooled, spent ashes on to bare garden soil, or if you are out and about dowse disposable barbecues with water to ensure they are fully extinguished and cooled. We want everyone to enjoy their barbecue events and would urge people to follow our barbecue safety tips.”
Watch our #cavemansafe barbecue safety video which uses a light-hearted approach to tackle the serious issue of barbecue safety.