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20th Jul 2018
Alder Hey Children's Hospital has seen a marked increase in the amount of children being admitted with burns from the use of BBQs.
One of the most common causes of the rise in cases has been the improper use of disposable BBQs on beaches. The sand below stays very hot long after the BBQ has been removed and children have been injured by walking/crawling over it.
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Arson Team Manager Michael Buratti said: “In the current hot spell having a barbecue with friends in open areas and grassland may seem a great idea but there is a very serious risk to others if they are misused, discarded or not removed correctly after use.
“You should always avoid placing a barbecue directly onto grass as this presents a serious fire risk. Placing a disposable barbecue on sand on the beach can also mean that the ground underneath it can become extremely hot and can stay that way for several hours afterwards, often long after the barbecue itself has been removed. Always place the barbecue off the ground on a fire proof surface.
“We would also urge people to be extremely careful when removing barbecues, making sure that no hot coals are left discarded or any other materials that can potentially cause injury to others. Also never leave a barbecue unattended at any time.”
Barbecue safety tips: -
- Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
- Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of about five cms (two inches).
- Never use petrol or paraffin to start, or revive, your barbecue – use only barbecue fire lighters or starter fuel on cold coals. Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early.
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
- Never use a barbecue indoors or on a balcony.
- Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
- Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
- After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
- Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more.
- Empty ashes on to bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
- Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
- Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
- If you are using a disposable barbecue, make sure it is off the ground on a fireproof surface and when you are finished using it, pour water on it to make sure it is out- only put it in the bin when you are sure it is completely cool (this can also prevent burns to children and pets).
- If you are camping, never, ever take a barbecue inside your tent even when it looks out as it will still give off carbon monoxide which can seriously damage health or kill- always leave barbecues outside.
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.
- Store your gas cylinders outside and protected from frost and sunlight
Alder Hey Children's Charity