Barbeques

A barbecue should be safe and enjoyable, but it’s all too easy to be distracted by friends and family while you’re cooking.
Never pour petrol, meths or other accelerants on to a barbecue. Some of the worst barbecue-related burns we see happen when people do this and the barbecue ‘explodes’ in their face.

General barbecue safety:

  • make sure your barbecue’s in good working order
  • always barbecue on a flat site, well away from sheds, fences, trees or shrubs
  • keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area
  • never leave the barbecue unattended
  • keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
  • ensure the barbecue is cool before moving it
  • use only enough charcoal to cover the base, to a depth of about 50mm (2 inches)
  • only use recognised fire-lighters or starter fuel, and only on cold coals – use the minimum necessary and never use petrol
  • never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire
  • don’t use indoors, in a tent or an enclosed space. There’s a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, even when extinguished

Gas barbecues:

  • make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder
  • change cylinders outdoors if possible, or in a well-ventilated area
  • if you suspect a leak to the cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles – tighten to fix, but do not overtighten
  • after cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe work is used up.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a highly poisonous gas, created when fuels such as natural gas, wood and charcoal fail to combust fully, due to a lack of oxygen. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning. For further information PLEASE CLICK HERE – NEED TO INSERT LINK TO CO SECTION ON NEW SITE

CAMPING AND CARAVANNING

Many people are injured by camping fires every year. The following tips should help keep you safe:

  • allow at least six metres (18ft) between tents
  • never use candles in or near a tent, always a torch
  • discourage smoking – especially in smaller tents
  • don‘t use cooking equipment in smaller tents
  • make sure everyone knows where the nearest phone is and, if applicable,  the nearest fire point in case of emergency
  • keep cookers away from the tent entrance
  • make certain the cooker is stable, away from draughts and in an area where it won’t get knocked over
  • keep flammables (including long grass) away from the cooking area
  • avoid using liquid fuel appliances if at all possible
  • only change disposable gas cylinders when they’re completely empty
  • never leave a cooker, barbecue, fire, etc burning when you go to sleep

Cooking:

  • keep cookers away from the tent entrance
  • make certain the cooker is stable, away from draughts and in an area where it won’t get knocked over
  • keep flammables (including long grass) away from the cooking area
  • avoid using liquid fuel appliances if possible
  • only change disposable gas cylinders when they are completely empty
  • never leave a cooker, barbecue, fire, etc burning when you go to sleep.

Caravanning:

Caravans are smaller and more confined than a house, with greater fire risks. It’s essential that you install a smoke alarm to give early warning of a fire, and follow these precautions:

  • on a caravan site, find out what the fire-fighting arrangements are
    never leave children alone in a caravan
  • a fully-charged water or dry powder fire extinguisher should be kept in the caravan near an exit door, and a fire blanket should be next to the cooking area
  • keep a torch handy for emergencies – never use candles
  • make sure everyone knows how to operate escape windows and doors
  • keep gas cylinders outside the caravan, unless a specially-ventilated compartment is provided.

FIRE SAFETY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Every year fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside, open space and wildlife habitat. Sadly, many of these fires are started deliberately but, by following a few simple precautions and showing a little extra care, many others can be prevented:

  • dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they’re completely out. Never throw them to the ground or out of vehicle windows
  • ideally, never have an open fire in the countryside
  • don’t leave camp fires or barbecues unattended, and extinguish them properly after use
  • clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to prevent them magnifying the sun’s rays and starting a fire
  • explain to children the personal and environmental dangers of playing with fire
  • if fire breaks out, call 999 immediately. Be clear about your location, mention any landmarks – perhaps a church or pub – and, if phoning from a phone box, stay nearby so you can direct the fire engines to the scene
  • if you can, prepare for the arrival of firefighters at a pre-arranged meeting point by unlocking gates, etc.
  • don’t attempt to fight the fire yourself unless it is very small and can be put out with a bucket of water – grass and crop fires can travel very quickly.

The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside – check out the Natural England website