Barbecue safety

Barbecues can be a great way to make the most of outdoor eating. To help you avoid the sort of accidents that are all too often associated with this method of cooking, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) offers the following tips:

  • Choose a barbecue that is strong and sturdy
  • Check the barbecue is in good condition with no loose or damaged parts
  • Use the barbecue on level ground away from anything that might catch fire such as fences, a tent or overhanging trees
  • Never light a barbecue in an enclosed space
  • Prepare the barbecue early to ensure it’s the right temperature by the time you want to cook
  • Take particular care in hot, dry weather to reduce the risk of starting a forest or grass fire
  • Never pour petrol, methylated spirit or other accelerants on a barbecue
  • Use long-handled tools
  • Be careful of steam when opening foil parcels
  • Wait for the metal parts of the barbecue to cool down completely before touching them
  • Don’t leave children unsupervised near a barbecue
  • Make sure the barbecue is fully extinguished before you leave it
  • Take care when getting rid of a disposable barbecue, or barbecue coals – make sure they have cooled down before putting them in a bin.

Even cooling barbecues can give off carbon monoxide which can kill, so never take a barbecue into a tent, awning or other enclosed space.