With temperatures set to remain in the 20s this Easter weekend, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to take care when cooking on a barbecue.
"Barbecues are a great way to have fun and enjoy the sun with friends and family however we’d urge people to ensure they follow some simple fire safety tips so that we don’t end up with an invite to your party."
Station Manager, Alan McEntire
Station Manager, Alan McEntire said: "It is essential that people remain next to the barbecue whilst they’re cooking and ensure cooking food is never left unattended.
"Barbecues are a great way to have fun and enjoy the sun with friends and family however we’d urge people to ensure they follow some simple fire safety tips so that we don’t end up with an invite to your party.
"A common problem we come across is barbecues being sited too close to sheds, fences and trees which can very easily catch alight.
"Other issues occur after the barbecues have finished when people dispose of the ashes in their wheelie bins which then melt and set alight. Instead we advise people to wait until the ashes are cool and then empty them onto bare garden soil."
Other barbecues safety tips include:
• Keep a bucket of water, a bucket of sand or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
• Never leave the barbecue unattended.
• Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of about 5cm (two inches).
• Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
• Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue, use only recognised lighters or starter fuel on cold coals.
• Enjoy yourself but don’t drink too much alcohol if you’re in charge of the barbecue.
• After cooking make sure the barbecue is cool enough before moving it.