Follow some simple precautions to reduce the risks of barbecue mishaps. Pre-planning and absolute care are the watchwords, especially when young children are in attendance.
- Always site a barbecue on a firm, level base sheltered from gusts of wind and well away from anything flammable, such as garden sheds, garages, fences, shrubs etc.
- Do not hold makeshift barbecues in woods or fields
- Have at least one bucket of water handy at all times, just in case
- Never use any flammable liquid, such as petrol, to start a barbecue. Only use recommended firelighters or fluids, following the manufacturer's instructions
- Do not allow barbecues to burst into flames or burn fiercely
- Never wear loose, flowing clothes when tending a barbecue and tie long hair back
- Ensure that children are kept well away from barbecues — their fascination and curiosity can easily lead to a dreadful accident
- Consuming alcohol and cooking with a barbecue don't mix. If you are the 'chef' take responsibility and avoid indulging in drinks until your cooking duties are completed!
- After cooking, allow embers to cool completely before disposing of them. Pour water over them to be absolutely sure