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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Service issues BBQ safety warning

19/06/2017

BBQ fire damage
BBQ fire damage

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to be extra careful when using barbecues.

“It is vital not to leave a lit barbecue, even for a few minutes, or to drop a cigarette that hasn’t been fully extinguished – the consequences could be tragic. Grass fires spread rapidly and can destroy acres of land as well as tying up vital firefighting resources for hours, days or even weeks.”

Donna Broadhead, Prevent Manager for the north of the county

The warning comes following incidents that happened this weekend.

Firefighters from Hanley were called to a waste bin fire in Hanley park at around 7pm on Sunday, June 18. It is believed it was caused by hot charcoal being put in the bin.

Earlier in the evening, at around 6.30pm, Crews from Sandyford were called to an incident involving a charcoal BBQ. After struggling to light the BBQ, a man poured petrol onto it causing out of control flames to set fire to nearby wooden fencing and children’s garden toys (pictured).

The BBQ was also fairly close to the house and could have easily spread further.

Firefighters used one hose reel jet to extinguish the fire.

Just before 3.40pm on Saturday, June 17, crews from Loggerheads responded to a fire in Gainsborough Road, Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Flames from a BBQ placed too closely to a hedge had spread to nearby conifers and caused around eight metres of damage. Two hose reel jets were used to extinguish the blaze.

Today (Monday) is expected to be the hottest day of the year so far, therefore it is likely that the risks of BBQ fires will continue.

The Service has also seen several grass fires during the hot weather over the weekend, which have a major impact on frontline firefighting resources.

While the majority are deliberate, some are caused by seemingly innocent mistakes, such as leaving a barbecue unattended or not properly extinguishing a cigarette

The Service is running a ‘Flames Aren’t Games’ campaign in a bid to prevent such incidents. Throughout the summer the Service will work with partners to support them in providing free activities for young people. Regular social media posts will also be used to prompt parents to talk to their children about the dangers of setting fires.

Donna Broadhead, Prevent Manager for the north of the county, said: “We have seen some excellent weather over the weekend and it looks set to continue. While we want people to enjoy it – we want you to stay safe at the same time.

“It is vital not to leave a lit barbecue, even for a few minutes, or to drop a cigarette that hasn’t been fully extinguished – the consequences could be tragic. Grass fires spread rapidly and can destroy acres of land as well as tying up vital firefighting resources for hours, days or even weeks.”

The service has put together the following top tips for summer safety:

  • Make sure cigarettes are put out properly and never throw them out of car windows – they could start a fire and destroy the countryside
  • Never leave a lit barbecue unattended and don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of cooking
  • Never take a barbecue into an enclosed space like a tent – the carbon monoxide it gives off could be fatal
  • Do not deliberately start a grass fire – this is a crime which not only puts the countryside and wildlife in danger, it also poses a serious risk to life

Follow Staffs Fire on Twitter (@staffsfire) and Facebook (Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service) for regular updates throughout the summer.