During this summer period, the Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service has attended several fires caused by BBQs. They have shared with us some valuable safety advice to ensure minimum risk of fire: 

Balcony/Disposable BBQ’s

  • Having a BBQ on your balcony is not safe. There is a high risk that burning material from your balcony BBQ can be carried by the wind on the outside of the building into other residents’ flats;
  • There is a high risk that Carbon Monoxide will collect in your flat or your neighbours flat causing CO Poisoning;
  • If the BBQ becomes out of control due to fuel loading, there is high potential for fire
  • Any use of flammable liquids has the possibility of increasing the risk of fire.

Please do not have BBQ's on your balcony. It is NOT SAFE.

Disposable BBQs are contained in an aluminium tray, which whilst being used will get hot enough to ignite any flammable material it is placed on including wood and grass.

If you do wish to have a BBQ, find somewhere that is safe and where there is no prohibition against having a BBQ.

General Safety

  • Make sure your barbecue is in good working order;
  • Ensure the barbecue 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 barbecue unattended;
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies;
  • Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it;
  • DO NOT use in an enclosed space;
  • Dispose of ashes in a fireproof container and damp down with water.

Charcoal Barbecues

  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base to a depth of about 50mm;
  • Only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel and only on cold coals;
  • Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin.

Gas Barbecues

  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder;
  • Change cylinders outdoors if possible or in a well-ventilated area;
  • 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.

Please take note of the safety information above and stay safe.