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 use a barbecue on your balcony under any circumstance

  • 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

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Carbon Monoxide