Fire service issue barbecue safety advice

PUBLISHED: 11:50 04 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:26 10 June 2010

Monday, August 4 - DEVON and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to be careful when barbecuing food this summer.

DEVON and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to be careful when barbecuing food this summer.

The fire service says cooking over hot coals can be hazardous particularly if attention is diverted.

Fire service spokesman Paul Slaven said: "By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. We have had a couple of occasions where people have poured petrol onto the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous."

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has issued the following barbecue safety guidelines:

* Never light a barbecue indoors.

* Never leave a barbecue unattended.

* Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.

* Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more (normally around 5cms or 2 inches).

* Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.

* After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.

* Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they're hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.

* Enjoy yourself, but don't drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.

* Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

Mr Slaven added: "This may seem like a long list but most of these things are common sense. Always prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. Most of all enjoy yourself safely.

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