By Webteam - 3rd July 2015 6:08am
Have fun in the sun at a barbecue, but stay safe say firefighters
With the summer months ahead many people will be thinking of having barbecues.
While not wanting to put a dampener on people's enjoyment, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service does want everyone to be aware of the potential dangers of barbecues if care isn't taken.
The Service's Head of Prevention and Protection, Keith Brooks, said: "We want people to enjoy the summer weather but want them to stay safe doing so. By far the biggest danger of barbecues is the use of flammable liquids to light it. We have had a couple of occasions where people have poured petrol onto the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous.
"Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. I would also urge everyone to follow the safety advice below. It may seem a long list but most of the advice on it is common sense. Most of all, enjoy yourself safely."
Barbecue safety tips
To avoid injuries or damage to property follow these simple precautions:
- Make sure your BBQ is in good working order
- Ensure the BBQ is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area
- Never leave the BBQ unattended
- Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
- Ensure the BBQ is cool before attempting to move it
It is imperative that they are placed on an even surface on either bricks or paving slabs.
Place disposable BBQs well away from the house, shed or fences.
Do not use disposable barbecues near or on public benches.
If you're using a disposable BBQ 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.
Use only enough charcoal to cover the base to a depth of about 50mm (2 inches).
Only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel and only on cold coals- use the minimum necessary and never use petrol.
Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin- they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder
Change cylinders outdoors if possible or in a well ventilated area
If you suspect a leak to the cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles- tighten to fix but do not overtighten
After cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe work is used up
Other vital safety information can be found on our website — http://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/public-safety/campaigns/outdoor-safety/barbecue-safety
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