Enjoy your barbecue but be aware that cooking over hot coals can be dangerous. It’s easy to be distracted whilst cooking, especially when you have friends or family around. To avoid injuries or a fire, follow these simple safety tips.

  • Never use a BBQ indoors or on a balcony
  • Position your BBQ on level ground and keep it well away from anything that may catch fire (sheds, fences, trees, tents etc.)
  • Never leave a BBQ unattended
  • Only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the BBQ
  • Only use approved BBQ starter fuel or fire lighters to start the BBQ
  • Never use petrol, paraffin or biofuel to get the BBQ going or revive it
  • Be careful with fatty foods, avoid using oils when cooking
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the BBQ
  • Have a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergency use
  • After cooking, make sure the BBQ is cool before moving it
  • Empty cold ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins
  • Don’t drink too much alcohol if you are using the BBQ

Gas Barbeques

  • Change the gas cylinder outdoors and make sure you turn off all controls and valves
  • Store gas cylinders outside, protect from frost and direct sunlight
  • To prevent gas leaks, ensure all joints are tightened
  • If you suspect a fault do not use the BBQ and seek specialist advice

Disposable Barbecues

Never use a disposable BBQ inside a building, tent, caravan or other enclosed space. Once lit they give off poisonous carbon monoxide fumes that can kill in minutes. Always use and leave the BBQ outdoors, where the fumes can disperse and it can cool down completely. Used safely, disposable BBQs can be fun and quick to use, but always follow the safety instructions provided and take extra care.

Tips provided by London Fire Brigade. For more information visit london-fire.gov.uk