10 Top Tips for a Safe Barbecue Season

3 minute read

A barbecue

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, an estimated 1,800 people visited A & E with BBQ related injuries when figures were last collated in 2002. This annual figure is now likely to be far higher with families spending more leisure time at home during the pandemic and during the current cost of living crisis.

The 4th to 10th July 2022 marks National BBQ Week – a celebration of everything grilled al fresco. There is therefore no better time to remind ourselves of some top tips for safe barbequing this Summer. We hope that by following these simple steps you can keep you and your family safe during barbecue season.

Top ten barbecue safety tips

  1. If using a BBQ, check for gas pipe leaks before you first start using the grill. Apply a soap and water solution to the pipe and any leaks will cause the solution to bubble when turning on the gas
  2. Before lighting a BBQ ensure it is on a flat service away from trees or shrubs and away from property or fencing
  3. When lighting a charcoal fire only use BBQ starter fluid and do not be tempted to apply more fluid during the cooking process. If the flames start to die down, add newspaper or a small amount of kindling to the fire
  4. Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing as sleeves can easily catch fire – purchasing a flame retardant apron is also a smart move
  5. If the flames do go out on a gas BBQ then wait at least five minutes before relighting to allow gas vapours to disperse. Always light a gas barbecue with the lid in its raised position
  6. Keep a bucket of sand or water and a fire extinguisher near a charcoal BBQ and a fire blanket is also recommended when using a gas grill. Never leave a barbecue unattended, even whilst it is heating up
  7. Remember that a BBQ will stay hot for at least an hour after use so ensure that children and pets are not allowed to play in the vicinity after cooking
  8. Ensure a BBQ is cool before moving it and ensure coals are completely cold before disposal
  9. Never be tempted to place a BBQ in a tent, even when the flames are out and it is cooling down. Barbeques release damaging and potentially fatal levels of Carbon Monoxide and need to be surrounded by fresh air at all times
  10. Be careful when drinking alcohol and using the BBQ. It is worth remembering that whilst a household policy will normally cover you for damage to your own home or a neighbouring property resulting from a BBQ accident, an insurer may reject a claim if the damage was caused by negligent behaviour such as drinking too much alcohol or leaving a BBQ unattended

When might you have a claim for a BBQ injury?

If you or a member of your family is injured in a BBQ accident caused by a defective gas BBQ exploding and causing you injury then you are likely to have a claim against the manufacturer or supplier.

Similarly, if you or a member of your family suffers a burn injury as a result of the negligence of someone else who is using a BBQ, such as by leaving a BBQ unattended, failing to observe and replace a damaged or worn gas pipe, lighting the grill near vegetation which catches fire, using petrol to light the BBQ or failing to dispose safely of used BBQ coals then you may well have a claim against that person.

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