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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 got out-of-hand?

Whether you are in the garden or out camping, we have 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 barbecue 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 five centimetres or two 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 is on fire – stop, drop and roll

Gas Barbecue Safety

  • Take care when turning bottled gas barbecue 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

Do not keep more cylinders than you need. Gas cylinders should be kept outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.

For more safety information check out: