The sun is out and it's time to barbecue, whether you plan to resurrect your old BBQ from the shed or purchase a shiny new one. However, it is important to remember the risk that fire can pose; so before you start grilling, take note of this important BBQ fire safety advice.
Fire Safety is Key
Before you even light the flames on your BBQ you need to think about a number of factors. Where are you going to place it? Which fuel are you using (natural gas, charcoal or propane)? How will you extinguish the flames in an emergency?
Where you place your BBQ is really important. Ideally it has to be in a clear space, with no overhanging branches or nearby debris which could potentially catch fire. You should also try and place it out of the wind so there's no danger of flames being blown on to the chef. It's also key to ensure that the unit is on solid ground with no risk of tipping or rolling.
Which fuel are you using in your BBQ? Charcoal fires are the most common to cook on during the summer and are located in fire pits, barbecue units and disposable barbecues. Make sure that you only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the BBQ and that you only light it when the coals are cold. Keep excess charcoal in a safe place away from the fire.
If you use a natural gas or propane fuel source there are a number of other factors to consider. Always use a new gas cylinder every summer as cold temperatures during the winter months can damage the casing and remember to change the gas fuel source outdoors or in a very well-ventilated area. Before you light your BBQ for the first time take some time to check the gas set-up for leaks - you can do this by brushing soapy water around the joints of the pipe work, if you see any bubbles this indicates a gas leak.
Prepare a bucket of cold water or Serious Security Access Controls sand and keep this close to the barbecue during its use. If the flames are out of control (and you can't simply turn off the gas supply) don't hesitate to douse the flames - even if it means your food will be ruined - as fire safety is always paramount. Enjoy having fun in the sun and remember to stay safe when using fire outside to cook delicious food.