Skewers on a BBQ

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BBQ safety tips

Ellie Hughes

Written by Ellie Hughes, marketing campaign manager

There’s nothing like a sunny day to draw you out to the garden, balcony or a nearby outside space. But just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean there’s not a risk of fire.

Here’s six things you can do to reduce risks in your outdoor space:

  1. Never store anything flammable on a balcony.

  2. Clear any clutter.

  3. Move sheds or storage boxes away from your home.

  4. Get rid of any damaged or broken outdoor furniture.

  5. Make sure nothing’s propped up against your home.

  6. Always put cigarettes right out and dispose of them properly.


A BBQ is a great summer activity, but it’s also easy to get distracted and forget the safety risks. To avoid accidents, follow these simple steps:

  • Never use a BBQ, fire pit or chimenea indoors or on a balcony.

  • Check your BBQ is in good working order before you use it.

  • Place your BBQ on a flat surface, well away from sheds, trees, shrubs or anything flammable.

  • Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.

  • Never leave the BBQ unattended.

  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.

  • Make sure the BBQ is cool before attempting to move it.

What if I’m using a charcoal BBQ?

  • Only use enough charcoal to cover the BBQ base to a depth of about 5 cm or 2 inches.

  • Make sure you’re using cold coals before you light the BBQ.

  • Use a recognised fire lighter or starter fuel, using only the minimum amount necessary.

  • Never use petrol on the BBQ.

  • Never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.

What if I’m using a gas BBQ?

  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.

  • Always change the gas cylinder outdoors or in a well ventilated area.

  • If you suspect a leak to the gas cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles – if you spot bubbles try tightening the joint to stop the leak, but don’t overtighten it.

  • After cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning the BBQ off at the controls so any gas left in the pipes is used up.


Never...use a BBQ indoors or on a balcony

For more fire safety advice visit our fire safety page.

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