Barbecue Safety

Nothing quite says summer like firing up the barbecue and cooking outdoors – but did you know that Scottish Fire and Rescue Service firefighters attend incidents every year where barbecues have gotten out-of-hand?

Whether you are in the garden or out camping, some advise to barbecue safely and avoid injuries, damage to property:

  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Never leave a barbeque unattended.
  • Avoid alcohol if you are in charge of a barbecue - it can affect your co-ordination and judgement.
  • Make sure your barbecue site is flat and well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
  • Do not dispose of ashes from barbecues until they are cold to the touch. Hot ashes can melt a plastic wheelie bin and can also cause a fire.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to light your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals.
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more (normally around 5cms or 2 inches).
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • Never take a portable barbecue - or lit charcoal - into an enclosed space like a tent or caravan.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll

Do you have a gas barbecue?

  • Take care when turning bottled gas barbeques on and off.
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbeque control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • Make sure all joints are safely and securely tightened.
  • Change gas cylinders outdoors or in a well ventilated area
  • Gas cylinders should be kept outside away from direct sunlight and frost. Never store petrol, diesel or gas containers under your caravan or inside your home.
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions about how to check for leaks in the cylinder or pipework, e.g. brushing soapy water around all joints and looking for bubbles. 

Storing gas cylinders - Don't keep more cylinders than you need. Gas cylinders should be kept outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.