Be safe, be smart: How to keep your family barbecue fun with this advice from our fire service

The weather is finally hotting up as we head towards the summer holidays, and more of us are making plans for a family barbecue.

By Debra Fox
Saturday, 06 July, 2019, 06:00

But before we get carried away with the sunshine and celebrations, it’s important to focus on how to stay safe while we chill and grill.

Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service are doing their bit to ensure we stay safe with a range of top tips to make sure our plans go off without a hitch.

Barbecue advice from Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service.

Mark Ledger, Policy and Strategy Manager for Prevention and Education at the fire service, is on hand with what to think about as you fire up the barbie.

Here is what he had to say.

Setting it up: “Make sure it’s on a flat surface, if it’s a disposable barbecue make sure it’s on stones or flat bricks and away from any other combustibles or heat sources.”

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How to light it: “Make sure you only use recognised lighters. Do not use petrol, petrol can have violent consequences, and pretty much can be explosive as well.”

Will you be hosting a barbecue this summer?

Safety first: “Keep kids, pets and all other things that could get near the barbecue away – this includes shrubs, trees, set it up in an open space. Keep somebody on the grill at all times, never leave it unattended.

The cool down: “We need to make sure when we’re cooling it and disposing of it that we don’t just chuck it straight in the bin. Put some water on it, leave it for a while and make sure it’s fully out, make sure it’s cooled for a long time before we try and move it or before we try and put it in the bin.”

A warning: “Fires often start when heat sources go into the bin, combustibles reignite or set fire to other combustibles around them, causing a bin fire which could spread to a house or anything around it. Don’t ever use barbecues or any form of fuel-burning equipment inside tents, under covers, gazebos, anything like that where it can’t ventilate properly. Gas can build up in these areas and cause poisoning without you knowing it.”