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Barbecue Fire Safety

When we experience hot sunny weather, it is natural to want to get out the barbecue, go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends. By following some simple rules you can ensure your barbecue is a safe enjoyable event.

Coal Barbecues

  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service would like to remind you that the burning of all fossil fuels, gas, coal or wood, produces carbon monoxide (CO). Sadly every year we hear reports of deaths and serious injuries from CO poisoning in both tents and caravans.

People should never use stoves or disposable barbecues for either cooking or warmth in an enclosed space with poor ventilation. We would also recommend that caravanners should have gas-powered appliances serviced annually and should consider using an audible carbon monoxide alarm inside their caravan.

  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue.
  • Ensure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • Empty the ashes onto bare garden soil and not into wheelie bins as burning embers could cause a fire.
  • Don't drink too much if you are in charge of the barbecue.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals.

Gas Barbecues

  • Never store gas cylinders under the stairs - if there is a fire they might explode and block your escape route.
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.
  • Make sure the valve is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing soapy water around all joints, watching for bubbles.
  • Change gas cylinders outdoors or in a well ventilated area.

If you would like to keep or print off this information you can find it included in the leaflet below.

Keep a bucket of water, sand or a hose nearby.

Never cook with or use a barbecue indoors or in a poorly ventilated space as a source of warmth.

Gas cylinders should be stored outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.

Turn off the gas supply first before turning off the barbecue.