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Hot weather leads to barbecue safety reminder

Hot weather leads to barbecue safety reminder

19 April 2018

Photo of a charcoal barbecue in use
Take care to use your barbecue safely

Blue skies and warm sunshine mean only one thing for many households – time to dust off the barbecue and enjoy some time outdoors with family and friends.

But Kent Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people to take extra care if they’re having a barbecue and make sure follow their safety advice.

Using petrol to light your barbecue or leaving it unattended are two of the most common mistakes people make. During the warm weather this often results in firefighters being called to fires caused by barbecues that have got out of control. In some instances, this has led to serious injuries and damage to property.

Community Safety Group Manager Leanne McMahon said: “A top ingredient for a great barbecue is to make sure that you cook with safety in mind. We really want residents of Kent and Medway to enjoy the opportunities the good weather brings, so follow our simple common sense advice, and make sure your barbecue runs smoothly.”

Top barbecue safety tips:

Enjoy yourselves, but remember... excessive alcohol and fire are a lethal mix.

Charcoal barbecues:
Make sure that your barbecue is in good working order
This must be well away from sheds, fences and overhanging branches and other foliage
Use only recognised fire lighters or starter fuel, and only use on cold coals. Use the minimum quantity necessary to start the fire
Keep children and garden games well away from the cooking area
Never leave the barbecue unattended
When the cooking is finished, make sure the barbecue is cool before trying to move it
Empty the spent ashes onto bare garden soil
Never put ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin.

Gas barbecues

These use bottled gas, so follow these simple rules:
Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder
Change gas cylinders in the open air if possible, otherwise open doors and windows to provide good ventilation
Check for leaks - you suspect a leak in the gas cylinder or pipework brush soapy water around all joints and watch for bubbles
If you find a leaky joint, try to tighten it, but do not over-tighten
Store gas cylinders outside (protect from frost and direct sunlight)
When you have finished cooking with a gas barbecue, turn off the gas cylinder before the barbecue controls, this makes sure that any residue gas in the pipeline is used up

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