Although most barbecues present no problems, there have been examples of fires, serious injuries and deaths caused by the use of flammable liquids or sitting barbecues too close to fences, garden sheds, buildings or trees.
Following these guidelines should ensure that everyone has a happy and safe barbecue season.
Ensure that the barbecue itself is stable and located on level ground and if you are anywhere other than in your own garden – remember the Country Code. If there is a wind blowing, make sure that the wind is blowing away from you when you light the barbecue (just in case it flares up).
Ensure that you are not wearing any loose clothing that could flap onto the lighted barbecue and ignite. Keep the barbecue well away from over hanging obstructions such as tree branches, and keep a safe distance from fences, garden sheds, tents and caravans.
Do not use any flammable liquid other than recommended barbecue lighting fluid. Never use methylated spirits, paraffin or petrol.
Preferably use fire lighters. If you choose to use lighting fluid, follow the manufacturers instructions and do not spray onto a hot barbecue – it may blow up in your face! When lighting the barbecue, do so at arms length (rather like fireworks) and do not put your face over the range.
Keep children away from the barbecue when lighted and after cooking has finished, as it may still be hot. Ensure matches and lighters are placed out of reach from children.
Dispose of the charcoal safely after the barbecue has cooled completely. Those using gas powered barbecues should check gas pipe lines before use and ensure that the gas cylinder is connected correctly.