The London Fire Brigade has warned against the use of ‘Balcony BBQs’ – small barbecues marketed at those living in flats or in properties with roof terraces and small gardens.
In the past 12 months such barbecues resulted in seven fires and the Brigade is warning that they “should never be lit on balconies,” regardless of marketing claims.
The high proportion of flat-dwellers in the capital means any fire has potential to place significant numbers of people risk.
Mark Hazelton, Community Safety Group Manager for London Fire Brigade, said: “These products could prove to be dangerous and we’d urge people not to light barbecues on their balconies. Balconies are often enclosed and it’s easy for barbecues to get out of control and cause a fire which can then spread to other properties.
“If you’re planning a barbecue this bank holiday, it’s important to place the barbecue on level ground and well away from anything that could catch fire, such as fences, overhanging trees and sheds – or in this case, other people’s balconies.
“It’s vital that you never leave your barbecue unattended and make sure it’s completely out once finished with. People sometimes just leave them smouldering and that’s often when the problems start.”
London Fire Brigade’s top barbecue safety tips:
- Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
- Barbecues must be placed on level ground so they don’t tip over
- Only use approved barbecue fuel or fire lighters. Never use petrol or paraffin
- When you have finished cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before you try to move it
- Empty the spent ash on to bare garden soil – never put it in the dustbin
For gas barbecues:
- If using gas, store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.
- Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
- After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
- Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure