Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has issued urgent barbeque safety guidance this May bank holiday following an incident at a hotel overnight in Folkestone where the lives of hotel guests were put at great risk.
Firefighters were called last night (Sunday 27 May) at 21:28 to the Grand Burstin Hotel in Marine Parade to reports of a barbeque being used on the 12th floor of the hotel. On arrival crews found the occupants of a room using a disposable barbeque on the balcony. Firefighters extinguished the barbeque and gave the occupants fire safety guidance. Firefighters left the scene at 21:50.
KFRS Area Manager, Mark Rist said: “You should never use a barbecue in an enclosed area such as a balcony or roof space. The occupants of the room were incredibly lucky that things didn’t get out of hand; which they could have easily done at that height. The weather over the last few days has shown how things can and do quickly change, even more so on the coast. Strong winds could enlarge or fan flames unexpectedly.”
He added: “Barbecues are fine as long as you take a few sensible steps, such as lighting them well away from anything that could catch fire and never leaving them unattended.”
The incident at the Grand Burstin has prompted wider barbeque advice for Bank Holiday Monday.
Mark said: “It’s important to take care with gas barbecues too as gas can explode when exposed to heat. It’s also important to read the manufacturer’s instructions on your barbecue and check that all joints are tightened.”
Other barbeque advice:
Never use a barbecue on balconies of buildings.
Never use a barbecue indoors or in a tent.
Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
Make sure your barbeque is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
- Consider the effect of strong winds when positioning and lighting your barbeque, strong winds could enlarge / fan flames unexpectedly.
- Keep a bucket of water, sand or garden hose nearby for emergencies.
Enjoy yourself, but avoid drinking too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
Never empty ashes into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they are hot they can melt the plastic and cause fire.
For further safety support or guidance visit the KFRS website or call our home safety team on 0800 923 7000.
KFRS Area Manager Mark Rist