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How to BBQ safely this summer

It’s getting hot outside and people are dusting off their BBQs and lighting them up, right across the country.

A BBQ can be a healthy and delicious way to cook meat and vegetables and a fun way to while away a hot summer afternoon, however, they aren’t without their risks. Last summer, London Fire Brigade were called out to 66 fires caused by BBQs. 45 of these were from BBQs on balconies.

Here’s some sound advice on how to enjoy your BBQ safely this summer.

Check your equipment

Make sure your BBQ is in good working order.

For charcoal BBQs ensure there are no holes in the base for hot coals to surreptitiously slip through.

If you use a gas BBQ check all pipes and hoses are intact.

Choose your site carefully

Never BBQ on a balcony. Set your BBQ up on a flat site away from sheds, trees, shrubs and buildings. Never leave a BBQ unattended.

Stay with your BBQ. This way you can ensure that children and pets stay away from the cooking area. You’ll also be able to spot if your flames start to get a bit out of hand. It only takes seconds for your flames to turn wayward and dangerous.

Always prepare for the worst

Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to enable you to quickly extinguish flames should they get out of control.

Never move a hot BBQ

Allow your BBQs to cool completely before moving it and emptying it.

Whether food tastes better cooked over charcoal or with gas is a matter of hot debate here at Rainbow Head Office. However you prefer to cook, there are a few tips on how you can BBQ safely.

 If you are using a charcoal BBQ:

  • Use the right amount of charcoal.

In order to barbecue safely, make sure your charcoal only covers the base of the BBQ to about 2 inches high.


  • Choose your firelighters carefully.

Use firelighters and starter fuel with the British kite mark on them. Only ever add them to cold coals, and never, ever use petrol to start your BBQ.


  • Never dispose of ashes whilst hot.

Leave ashes to cool down thoroughly before putting them into a bin as they could melt the plastic and start a fire.

If you’re a fan of the gas BBQ:


  • Changing the gas cylinder.

Before changing the gas cylinder, always ensure the gas tap is turned off. Only ever change the cylinder outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.


  • Never cook with a damaged gas BBQ.

If you suspect the hose or gas cylinder is damaged brush soapy water around the joints or hose. Look for bubbles to indicate where the gas may be escaping. If you find a loose joint, tighten it, but be careful not to tighten it too much. After cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before turning the BBQ off at the controls


  • After cooking.

Turn the gas cylinder off first, then the BBQ controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe is given chance to escape and isn’t trapped in the hose.

With more than 60 branches across the UK who specialise in fire damage restoration and specialist cleaning, there’s bound to be a Rainbow branch near you. You can find your nearest branch on our website, or give us a call on 01623 422 488.



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