Summer is barbecue time! As you get out the barbecue and get ready to have fun with family and friends, don’t forget to follow a few simple safety guidelines to help everyone stay safe.

  • stand the barbecue on level ground, well away from the house, sheds, fences and overhanging branches that could catch fire
  • make sure children, and any games, are kept well away from the barbecue area
  • make sure someone is always looking after the barbecue – never leave it unattended
  • excessive alcohol and fire can be a lethal mix – don’t drink and barbecue

Setting up and putting away your barbecue

  • check your barbecue is in good working order before you use it
  • just use enough charcoal to cover the barbecue base to around 50mm deep
  • if you use fire lighters or starter fuel, use the minimum amount of a recognised brand on cold coals
  • when putting it away, check it’s cold before you move it

Put the ashes onto bare garden soil, never into a bin.

Do you use a gas barbecue or patio heater? 

Remember to:

  • make sure the tap is off before changing your gas cylinder
  • change gas cylinders outside, or somewhere with good ventilation
  • when you’ve finished cooking on your barbecue, turn off the gas cylinder before the barbecue controls so that the residue gas in the pipeline is used up
  • store gas cylinders outside, protected from frost and direct sunlight, never under the stairs of your home – it could prevent you escaping if there is a fire
  • only keep the minimum number of cylinders you need

Before lighting your barbecue, brush a 50/50 solution of water and washing up liquid over all the connections and check for bubbles, which would indicate a gas leak. If you see any bubbles, do not light the bbq or patio heater.

Did you know?

Never use a barbecue or patio heater under cover, in a tent or indoors due to the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

If you think your barbecue or patio heater may have a gas leak 

If you smell gas or think your appliance may be leaking, turn it off, do not use it, and contact your supplier  

Gas Safety Advice is also available from the Health and Safety Executive via their Advice Line on freephone: 0800 300 363

Don’t forget you may be eligible for a Safe and Well Visit to help make your home a safer place. Take a look at our Safe and Well page and contact the team if you would like more information.