Out & About: BBQ & Picnic Fire Safety Awareness
Following an exceptionally dry spring season, with May being the sunniest month ever, here in the UK we are (mostly!) enjoying a proper summer season too. There’s even talk about the possibility of 2020 beating records for the warmest year!
On the flip side, hot weather not only means more picnics and BBQs but also increases the likelihood of fires, and many national parks and fire services are discouraging or even banning the lighting of fires and BBQs within their areas of administration
We all ‘know’ the safety rules, but, as with fire drills, practise makes perfect, so a few reminders won’t go amiss!
BBQ safe guidance:
- Never BBQ indoors (including in tents & caravans) as harmful gases are produced so ventilation is essential
- Always place your BBQ on a non-flammable, flat surface away from any flammable structures and objects
- Ensure children are aware of the potential danger of the BBQ and keep them well away whilst the BBQ is on
- Keep the BBQ under constant supervision
- Allow the BBQ to cool down completely before moving
- Clean the grill and coal bed after each use to prevent the buildup of flammable fats
- Position the gas cylinder beside the BBQ, not beneath it
- Change gas cylinders/cartridges outdoors, away from any source of ignition and never in a tent
- Don’t smoke or use your mobile phone when exchanging gas cylinders or cartridges
- Never take a BBQ into a tent or caravan, even when it has cooled down, as carbon monoxide is still produced and can kill quickly in an enclosed environment
Additional advice about BBQ gas cylinders:
- Avoid damage to valves
- Keep cylinders upright
- Return cylinders once empty
- Read and retain instructions on the cylinders
- Keep gas appliances clean and service them regularly
- Never heat up a cylinder – it could explode
- Never try to disconnect a regulator from the cylinder if the flame is on
- Don’t try to modify your gas appliance
- Turn off gas cylinders when not in use
- Don’t store fuel under your caravan or mobile home, or in direct sunlight
- When not in use, gas cylinders should be stored six metres away from the home – and remember that empty canisters are still dangerous
Picnic and Countryside Care advice:
- Remember the countryside code ‘take only photographs, leave only footprints’. Litter is a fire hazard, as well as being irresponsible and inconsiderate! Cigarette ends and glass containers (including glass fragments) can cause fires and combustible litter increases the likelihood of fire
- If you see a fire in the countryside, call the emergency services, unless it is clearly under control and attended – better safe than sorry!
- Check local regulations or with the landowner before lighting any type of fire or BBQ. Many authorities are banning fires this summer due to the extremely dry weather conditions in parts of the UK
And most importantly….have a great summer!