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Posted on: 30th July 2019

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Stay safe this BBQ season - chilling when you're grilling!

SUMMER’S here – and whatever the weather, us Brits love our barbeques!

A great excuse for a spot of alfresco dining with family and friends, the popular social gathering offers the chance for the fellas to show off their grill skills, the ladies to rustle up a tasty summer punch and the kids to have endless fun.

If this sounds like your ideal BBQ (and what’s not to love?) then don’t allow anything to spoil it. The sad fact is that barbecues are involved in many hundreds of accidents that occur in the garden each year.

Last time figures were collected through the Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (HASS/LASS), an estimated 1,800 people visited A&E in the UK having had an accident involving a barbecue.

The most common types of barbecue-related accidents as shown by the HASS/LASS figures were:

  • Burn/scald/other injury related to fire or flame – 800
  • Cut/tear by sharp edges - 200

The vast majority of barbecue accidents (1,400) happened in a home setting. Some of the accidents lead to very serious burns, usually as a result of using an accelerant such as petrol to light the fuel.

However, planning ahead and following some simple safety tips will ensure you BBQ is fun-filled and not a flaming failure.

  • Keep your barbecues away from flammable garden furniture such as wooden or plastic chairs.
  • Move your barbecue away from sheds, fences, overhanging branches and foliage and never light it in an enclosed space.
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Never let children too close to the barbecue.
  • Use only recognised firelighters or starter fuels on charcoal barbecues.
  • If you’re a gas barbecue user, ensure the tap is off before changing the cylinder.
  • When choosing a barbecue, stability is essential - ensure the one you choose is strong and sturdy
  • Check your barbecue is in good condition (particularly if you have not used it for some time) and look for loose or damaged parts that may need adjustment or repair.

To protect you, family and your home, it is advisable to have working fire alarms in your property and to generally be fire-safety savvy.

  • And it’s not just BBQs that can cause an outdoor hazard:
  • Ensure all lanterns and candles with a naked flame are fully extinguished when you leave the garden.
  • Never leave children unattended in or near inflatable pools or similar if they contain water. The same applies to garden ponds. Take care also when visiting other people’s gardens - children can drown in less than 3cm of water.
  • Clear away unused garden hoses and tools – which can be easily tripped over.
  • And finally, protect and secure your home and garden by securely locking back gates, sheds, garages and windows on balmy evenings.

More about Safe Local Trades

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