A British summer isn't complete without a barbecue. However, before you start cooking over hot coals, get prepared by reading our essential barbecue tips for staying safe whilst having fun with family and friends.
- Alcohol consumption increases the risk of accidents occurring. Always take care using cooking fires.
- Concentrate on what you're doing - it's easy to be distracted when you have family and friends around you whilst cooking and this is often when accidents can happen.
- Barbecue gone out? NEVER use petrol or paraffin to revive your barbecue. Use only recognised lighters or starter fuel on cold coals in moderation.
- Make sure your barbecue is in good working order and that the site is flat and well away from sheds, fences, trees and shrubs.
- Keep a bucket of water and/or a hose pipe nearby in case of emergencies.
- Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of about 50mm (two inches).
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area. When you've finished cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before trying to move it.
- NEVER leave the barbecue unattended.
- NEVER put ashes straight into a dustbin/wheelie bin. If they're hot they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
- Remember - barbecues should never be lit indoors!
- Bottled gas barbecues need special care when being turned on and off.
- Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder. Change gas cylinders in the open air if possible or open doors and windows to provide good ventilation.
- When you've finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before you turn off the barbecue controls. This ensures any gas in the pipeline is used up.
- To start your barbecue only use Barbecue Lighter Fuel or Firelighters, NEVER use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids. Once your barbecue is lit, NEVER add more liquid fuel.
- Make sure your barbecue is on a safe, flat surface and well away from fences, plants, garden furniture and other flammable items.
- Keep children and pets well away from your barbecue.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of accidents/emergency. When you have finished cooking with your barbecue, always extinguish the coals using water.
For further barbeque safety tips to help keep you safe, visit http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/advice/seasonal_advice/bbq_safety.aspx
Read our Barbecue safety advice leaflet >>