Don’t let your BBQ go up in smoke! Fire Services share safety tips after disposable barbecue causes garage fire

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents to stay safe if they’re lighting up the barbecue this weekend following a recent incident in Nuneaton.

Crews were called to the blaze started by a misplaced disposable barbecue at Monmouth Gardens, Nuneaton shortly before 2:30pm last Friday (15th June). The residents had thrown the barbecue into a bin without realising it had been lit. The bin subsequently caught fire and, due to its proximity, set light to a nearby garage that had been converted into a office.

Moreno Francioso, Community Fire Prevention and Arson Manager said:

“With barbecue season hopefully here to stay, this incident should serve as a timely reminder for Warwickshire residents to remember that they can be dangerous if not handled correctly. With friends, drinks and music it can be easy to forget how dangerous fire can be, but by following our common sense advice everyone can enjoy the warm weather safely. In this incident they had not realised the barbecue had been successfully lit. You should never put any barbecue or hot ashes in a bin unless completely cool, and even then they should not be up against buildings. After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it and empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins.

“When at the property crews also realised no smoke alarms were fitted in the main house. Working smoke alarms could be the difference between life and death, particularly at night, so crews installed one on each level of the property and offered safety advice.”

If you’re planning on having or attending a barbecue, make sure you do the following:

• Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.

• Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.

• Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden

waste.

• Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more.

• Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.

• After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.

• 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.

• Never use a barbecue indoors.

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Fire Safety, Cllr Andy Crump added:

“We want everyone in Warwickshire to enjoy the better weather and that means staying safe. While most of these tips are common sense, it is important people keep them in mind. The biggest risk is people using flammable liquids in an effort to get the flames going more quickly- make sure you prepare in advance and light the charcoal nice and early.”

For more information on how you can stay safe and avoid fires at home visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/homefiresafety