Staying safe with barbecues

by Adrian Waters

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

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