Barbecue Safety

Nothing quite says summer like firing up the barbecue and cooking outdoors – but did you know that Scottish Fire and Rescue Service firefighters attend incidents every year where barbecues have gotten out-of-hand?

Whether you are in the garden or out camping, some advise to barbecue safely and avoid injuries, damage to property:

  • You should place your barbecue on a flat surface, away from fences, trees and sheds
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby, in case of emergencies
  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of about five centimetres (two inches)
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start, or revive, your barbecue – use only barbecue fire lighters or starter fuel on cold coals
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area
  • Don’t leave the barbecue unattended
  • Avoid alcohol if you are in charge of a barbecue
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before trying to move it
  • Hot ashes can melt a plastic wheelie bin and can also cause a fire

Do you have a gas barbecue?

  • Your barbecue should be in good working order.
  • Ensure the tap is off before changing the gas cylinder and do it outdoors or in a well ventilated area.
  • Make sure all joints are safely and securely tightened.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbeque control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions about how to check for leaks in the cylinder or pipework, e.g. brushing soapy water around all joints and looking for bubbles. 

Storing gas cylinders - Don't keep more cylinders than you need. Gas cylinders should be kept outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.