Barbecue Safety

Be cool when you barbecue, so you can enjoy safely.

Follow these simple tips to avoid injuries or damage from fire:

  • Place barbecues on a non-ignitable flat surface away from fences, trees and sheds
  • 5cm (2 inches) of charcoal is sufficient to use to cover the base of the barbecue
  • Only use barbecue fire lighters or start fuel on cold coals
  • Have a supply of water easily accessible to put out a fire if needed
  • Remember – drink responsibly when barbecuing
  • Keep children, pets and garden furniture and games from cooking area
  • Make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it
  • Empty ash in to a metal container or on to soil not in to the bin – warm ash melts plastic
  • Petrol or paraffin should not be used to start or revive your barbecue
  • Always keep an eye on your barbecue
  • Only barbecue outdoors – your garage, shed or tent are not suitable. Carbon monoxide kills!

Gas barbecues – additional tips

Follow these extra tips if you are using a gas barbecue:

  • make sure your barbecue is in good working order
  • make sure the tap is off before changing the gas cylinder and do it in the open air
  • don’t over-tighten joints
  • when you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before you turn off the barbecue controls – this means any gas in the pipeline will be used up
  • read the manufacturer’s instructions about how to check for leaks in the cylinder or pipework, eg 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. If you have to keep them inside your house, make sure you don’t store them under the stairs. If there is a fire, they could explode and the stairs are likely to be your escape route.