Keep safe this summer
NOW that the warm, light evenings are with us and the smell of barbecues are sizzling, a timely warning has been issued by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
When the weather is good it is natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends.
By following some simple rules you can ensure your barbecue is a safe enjoyable event.
Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues
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Never use a barbecue indoors
Never leave a barbecue unattended
Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste
Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more – normally around 5cm or 2ins
Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area
After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it
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
This may seem a long list but most of these things are common sense. By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue.
We have had a couple of occasions where people have poured petrol on to the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous.
Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early.
Most of all, enjoy yourself safely.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service would also like to remind campers of the dangers around using barbecues in enclosed spaces. The service is urging campers to never take a portable barbecue – or lit charcoal – into an enclosed space like a tent or caravan, doing so can result in death.
The carbon monoxide from a badly adjusted camping light or stove can also have detrimental consequences. To find out more about the consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning go to
For more information on fire safety, please visit www.facebook.com/firekills