Firefighters urge locals to follow barbecue code

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A TIMELY warning has been issued by firefighters about the use of barbecues.

Now that the warm, light evenings are with us and the smell of barbecues are sizzling, East Sussex Fire and Rescue is urging people to follow simple rules to ensure barbecues are safe enjoyable events.

Steve Wright, community safety team manager, said, “When the weather is good it is natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends.

“People should follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.

r Never use one indoors

r Never leave a barbecue unattended

r Make sure they are well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste

r Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more

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

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

r Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins because if they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire

r Enjoy it, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue

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

“This may seem a long list but most of these things are common sense.

“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.

“Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. Most of all, enjoy yourself safely.”

The fire service is also reminding campers of the dangers around using barbecues in enclosed spaces.

It is also warning them never to take a portable barbecue – or lit charcoal – into an enclosed space like a tent or caravan as doing so can result in death.

The carbon monoxide from a badly adjusted camping light or stove can also have detrimental consequences.