With extreme temperatures sweeping the UK, people have been urged not to use barbecues in parks, dunes and woodland, as well as on balconies, due to the massive fire risk.
A lack of rainfall in July and August means grass is bone dry and all it takes is a single spark from a barbecue to light up entire stretches of land – not to mention neighbourhoods.
During the first week of August alone, London Fire Brigade (LFB) mobilised thousands of firefighters to 340 grass, rubbish and open land fires – an eightfold increase on the 42 during the same week last year.
To try and help ease the burden on fire brigades, some supermarkets have now stopped selling disposable barbecues due to the fire risk they pose in the hot weather. Sainsbury’s and Tesco are the latest stores to remove the items from sale, following in the footsteps of Marks and Spencer, Aldi and Waitrose.
LFB’s assistant commissioner Jonathan Smith has warned against barbecuing in open spaces or balconies. But what about barbecuing in your garden at home – is it safe?
It’s a tough question to answer.
There’s no advice explicitly telling you not to barbecue at home in your garden. Nobody wants to be a party pooper when it comes to people enjoying the nice weather, but realistically you do need to weigh up whether it’s worth the potential risk of setting your garden alight – and annoying your neighbours into the bargain, as the lack of wind means smoke tends to stick around.
If you are absolutely desperate to get grilling, you should take extra precautions. Your barbecue should be situated well away from your house and away from dry grass, shrubbery, bushes or trees, advises Andrew Chalk, a home…