With our final summer bank holiday upon us, Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are sharing top safety tips for a better BBQ this weekend.

Behind the bangers and burgers, summer fun has a serious side. AF&RS, as part of the Fire Kills campaign, is asking everyone to take extra care when cooking al fresco, especially when lighting barbecues or dealing with bad weather.

Vaughan Jenkins, Area Manager said: “It’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy your weekend with family and friends - many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue going. We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand, but, please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.

“And if you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent. This can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning as well as fire, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.”

By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips, you can ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event:

  • Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors.
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
  • Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

Vaughan added: “This may seem like a long list but most of these things are common sense. By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. Above all, we want you to enjoy yourself safely”.

For advice specific to you and your home, complete your own home fire safety check.