Kent Fire and Rescue service are asking people to take extra care when disposing of barbecue coals. This comes after they were called to two bin fires over the hot weekend.
On Saturday, a public bin in Folkestone Harbour caught alight after someone had dumped their disposable barbecue inside.
And on Sunday, crews were called after residents discovered a fire in a communal bin shed in Chartham. This too was after a disposable barbecue was put inside whilst hot, causing paper to ignite.
Crew Manager Gary Miller said: “Fortunately, no one was injured as a result of these fires, but with more people likely to be having barbecues during the hot weather, they serve as a timely reminder for people to take extra care when disposing of hot coals.”
“Always make sure the barbecue is cool before trying to move it and never put ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin. Empty the cooled, spent ashes on to bare garden soil.”
“Or if you are out and about dowse disposable barbecues with water to ensure they are fully extinguished and cooled.”
When the sun is out, the shorts are on and the heat is sweltering, it’d be rude to not have a barbecue. And besides, perfect barbecue weather isn’t around for long when it does finally arrive.
But despite it being fun to enjoy good food and company, there are also dangers associated with it.
The disposable barbecue has provided a cheap option for anyone to have one at home in their gardens. But it’s also made the possibility of a barbecue on the beach a much easier prospect.
When you’re about to have a barbecue, make sure you’re setting it up on a flat surface which is well away from any other potential dangers.
Also, try to start it up without the use of flammable liquids. Not only will it make the food taste odd, it could cause the fire to flare up dangerously.
It’s also important to ensure you don’t leave the barbecue unattended and keep children and pets well away.
And when you’ve finished, make sure the barbecue has cooled down before trying to move or do anything else with it. With a proper barbecue, you can shut the lid and close the events to allow it safely burn itself out.
With a disposable barbecue, let it also burn itself out. Allow it to cool for several hours and enjoy the time you’re spending with loved ones. It’s also worth considering pouring water over it to make sure it’s completely out and cool.
Just because you can no longer see flames doesn’t mean the potential for a fire has gone. When it’s still hot, it will easily set alight to any nearby combustibles. So before disposing of it, first ensure it has cooled down.
Don’t stop having your summer fun, but just make sure you’re enjoying the sun safely to keep yourselves, and everyone around, safe.