BBQ2In 2012, Dorset Fire and Rescue Service attended 241 cooking related fires; these could have been easily avoided if more people were aware of basic cooking safety. Being aware of the dangers of fire and taking preventative measures could help save the lives of you and your family.

Kate Huelin, Home Safety Manager said: “We would just like to remind the public, especially looking forward to the warmer weather, that disposable barbecues can be a fire hazard. These barbecues should be dealt with and disposed of in the proper manner; they should also be fully extinguished before they are thrown away. Barbecues should not be used near or on public benches or any other potential fuel for a fire.”

Cooking outdoors is a hazard at this time of year, please remember:

  • When using a gas barbecue with a gas bottle, always check your gas connections with a leak detecting solution after hooking up a new bottle.
  • Pay attention to the proximity of flammable materials to your barbecue. We advise you do not cook too closely to combustibles.
  • When using charcoal, always check to see that there is an ash catcher in place before lighting your barbecue. Hot embers have dropped down underneath a barbecue and start a fire on the shelf or other combustible surface below.
  • Do not attempt to barbecue or use an open fire when it is windy. Hot embers blown from a cooking fire can start a heath, woodland or house fire.
  • Educate your children so they know that they cannot play near a barbecue. Running or playing within close proximity to a hot barbecue is an invitation for a serious injury.
  • Please make sure that the barbecue is completely out before you leave it unattended.

Kate added: “As we approach the summer months, we see a rise in fires where people have left disposable barbecues or even camp fires unattended. These then spread to gorse and heath and can be extremely difficult to fight. If you are using disposable barbecues, please make sure you extinguish them fully and dispose of them properly.”

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