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Barbecue safety

What the chefs need to know...

  • Never use a barbecue indoors or on a balcony
  • Make sure barbecues are placed on level ground where they will not tip over
  • Keep barbecues away from your home, sheds, fences, garden furniture, trees, shrubs and tents
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the cooking
  • Don't set up the barbecue in a place where people have to squeeze past it
  • Keep children, pets, and garden games well away from the cooking area
  • Never leave the barbecue unattended
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues
  • Only use approved barbecue fuel or fire lighters - never use petrol or paraffin

After you’ve finished cooking

  • When you have finished cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before you try to move it
  • Empty the cold ash onto bare garden soil – never put it in the dustbin
  • Where possible, keep a bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose nearby for emergencies

Tips for gas barbecues

  • Take extra care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off
  • Make sure the controls and the gas cylinder valve are turned off before you change the cylinder
  • Make sure all joints are tightened, safe, and secure
  • Change the gas cylinder in the open air
  • When you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before the barbecue controls; this makes sure any leftover gas in the pipe is used up
  • Store your gas cylinders outside and protected from frost and sunlight
  • Never store gas cylinders under the stairs - if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route
  • If you think there might be a leak in the gas cylinder connections or pipe, brush soapy water over all of the joints and watch out for bubbles
  • If you have a leaky joint, try to tighten it (but don't over tighten it) and test for bubbles again. If unsure do not use the barbecue – seek specialist advice

Tips for disposable barbecues

  • It must be placed on an even surface on either bricks or paving slabs. Never place it directly onto grass or wooden garden furniture.
  • Place disposable barbecues well away from the house, shed or fences.
  • Do not use disposable barbecues near or on public benches.
  • If you're using a disposable barbecue ensure it has cooled before putting it in the bin. To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it's out.