Fire service issue warning to fans of outdoor cooking

PUBLISHED: 16:16 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:10 15 June 2010

SUMMER is the time when we don our shades, slap on the sunscreen and light up the barbecue. Despite the recent inclement weather, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has issued a series of tips for safe outdoor cooking over hot coals. Paul Slaven,

SUMMER is the time when we don our shades, slap on the sunscreen and light up the barbecue.Despite the recent inclement weather, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has issued a series of tips for safe outdoor cooking over hot coals.Paul Slaven, of DSFRS, said: "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."Among the tips for a safe barbecue are: l Never light a barbecue indoors.l Never leave a barbecue unattended.l Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.l Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more.l Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.l After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.l Empty ashes on to bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they are hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.l Enjoy yourself but don't drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.l Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

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