Safety first (Summer 2019)

With Derwent Living's health and safety officer, Darren Corke.

Now that the warm, light evenings are here barbecues are beginning to sizzle across the country. But behind the bangers and burgers, summer fun has a serious side.

As part of Derwent Living’s commitment to your safety we’ve put together some tips for cooking outdoors, especially lighting barbecues.

Setting up your barbecue

You cannot use communal gardens for barbecues. You should tell your neighbours if you are having a barbecue so they can close windows or take in washing.

Make sure your barbecue is stable and put together correctly, don’t put it on anything that could catch light. Set it up away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.

Keep children, pets and games away from the barbecue. Don’t wear loose clothing that could catch light when you are cooking.

If you have a gas barbecue ensure all fittings are secure. Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues and NEVER use a barbecue indoors.

Keep the grill clean and free from grease and burnt on food. Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.

Use just enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue. NEVER pour petrol on your barbecue. Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

Disposing of your barbecue

After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cold before moving it. Empty the ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If the ashes are hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.