Fire safety warning in time for barbecue season

‘Remember the drill before you grill’ is the message from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as we enter the summer months.

It’s the most popular time of the year for barbecues and the service is issuing a gentle reminder about safety and the steps which should be taken if you’re planning to cook al fresco this summer.

Every year the fire service is called to attend a variety of incidents involving barbecues, some of which result in some nasty injuries.

The last time accident figures were collated on a national level, around 1800 people visited A&E in the UK having been involved in an accident involving a barbecue.

Of those people, around 800 had suffered a barbecue-related burn or scald and 200 had suffered a cut. The vast majority of barbecue accidents (1400) happened at home, with 300 occurring in a public place.

Colin Robb, SFRS’s District Liaison Manager in Angus, said: “It is important to remember a few basic safety precautions, and plan your barbecue well, so that everyone can have fun without any trips to A&E.

“Hopefully we’re in for some great weather this summer and we want people to enjoy themselves, but most importantly to barbecue safely. We would urge people to drink responsibly. Lots of people like to enjoy a drink at a barbecue, but it’s important not to light the grill or cook under the influence of alcohol.

“Barbecues should be fun, but also safe and the way to do that is to prepare properly. Scottish Fire and Rescue has a host of information about barbecue safety on the website”

SFRS is also reminding people who are cooking or using barbecues in the countryside to be aware of the increased risk around wildfires.

District Liaison Manager Robb added: “The demand on SFRS and land manager resources during the summer months can be significant due to wildfires and we would ask the public to be extra careful during this period of heightened risk. We would ask that people don’t dispose of smoking materials carelessly, ensure all BBQs are properly extinguished and try to avoid setting campfires. Also check there are no notices in the area prohibiting fires or barbecues before you start.”

Remember, never light a barbecue in an enclosed space; particular care should be taken in hot, dry weather to reduce the risk of starting a grass fire; never pour petrol, paraffin or other accelerants on to a barbecue - some of the most serious barbecue-related accidents happen when people do this and the barbecue “explodes” in their face; don’t leave children unsupervised; make sure the barbecue is fully extinguished before you leave it; take care when getting rid of a disposable barbecue, or barbecue coals.