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The Facts.

Each and every summer family barbecue's are brought into the garden and can be great fun. They can also become potentially dangerous when mixed with carelessness, especially alcohol. Every year, we warn people that the combination of a party atmosphere, drink flowing freely, children dashing around and an open fire can quickly cause a tragic accident.

We urge everyone to follow some simple precautions to reduce the risks of barbecue mishaps.

Pre-planning and care, especially when young children are in attendance are paramount.

Some essential safety points are:

  • Always site a barbecue on a firm, level base sheltered from gusts of wind and well away from anything flammable, such as garden sheds, garages, fences, shrubs and so-on.
  • Do not hold makeshift barbecues in woods or fields.
  • Have at least one bucket of water handy at all times, just in case.
  • Never use any flammable liquid, such as petrol, to start a barbecue. Only use recommended firelighters or fluids, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Do not allow barbecues to burst into flames or burn fiercely.
  • Never wear loose, flowing clothes when tending a barbecue and tie long hair back.
  • Ensure that children are kept well away from barbecues – their fascination and curiosity can easily lead to a dreadful accident.
  • Consuming alcohol and cooking with a barbecue don’t mix. If you are the ‘chef’, please take responsibility and avoid indulging in drinks until your cooking duties are completed!.
  • After cooking, allow embers to cool completely before disposing of them. Pour water over them to be absolutely sure

Gas Barbecues.

Liquid petroleum (LP) gas or propane, used in gas grills, is highly flammable and each year about 30 people are injured as a result of gas-grill fires and explosions. Many of these fires and explosions occur when consumers first use a grill that has been left idle for a period of time or just after refilling and reattaching the grill's gas container. To reduce the risk of fire or explosion, you should routinely perform the following safety checks:

  • Check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects, spiders, or food grease. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to clear the blockage and push it through to the main part of the burner.
  • Check grill hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks. Make sure there are no sharp bends in the hose or tubing.
  • Move gas hoses as far away as possible from hot surfaces and dripping hot grease.
  • If you can't move the hoses, install a heat shield to protect them.
  • Replace scratched or nicked connectors, which can eventually leak gas.
  • Check for gas leaks, following the manufacturer's instructions, if you smell gas or when you reconnect the grill to the LP gas container. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and don't attempt to light the grill until the leak is fixed.
  • Keep lighted cigarettes, matches, or open flames away from a leaking grill.
  • Never use a grill indoors. Use the grill at least 10 feet away from your house or any building.
  • Do not use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that can catch fire.
  • Do not attempt to repair the tank valve or the appliance yourself. See an LP gas dealer or a qualified appliance repairer.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions that accompany the grill.
  • Use caution when storing LP gas containers.
  • Always keep containers upright. Never store a spare gas container under or near the grill or indoors.
  • Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.

To avoid accidents while transporting LP gas containers, you should transport the container in a secure, upright position. Never keep a filled container in a hot car or car boot. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which may open the relief valve and allow gas to escape.

Use extreme caution and always follow manufacturer's instructions when connecting or disconnecting LP gas containers.

www.fireservice.co.uk