Barbecue Safety Advice

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!

Gas Barbecues

  • 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.

Please Remember...

  • 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

Read our Barbecue safety advice leaflet >>

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:51
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