As we’ve finally entered BBQ season with warmer weather it’s more important than ever to be cautious of fire safety.
While we may not be needing to put the fire on in our home or plugging in electric heaters, there are still many preventable fire risks in the summer too. We’ve rounded up some top tips so you can keep warm, and stay cool, safely this summer.
BBQ, bonfire and fire pit
We're all guilty of falling into different roles during a BBQ. We either take the lead and become (or attempt to be) the BBQ master, or we sit comfortably back, eagerly waiting to first hear "Who wants a sausage?" Experienced or not, it's important to follow the below.
- Never leave a BBQ, bonfire or firepit unattended.
- Keep the BBQ, bonfire or firepit well away from fences, sheds, trees etc as these can easily catch fire, especially in dry weather.
- Only ever have a BBQ, bonfire or firepit outside, do not bring one indoors or set one up on a balcony.
- Keep children and animals away from the BBQ, bonfire or firepit.
- Be mindful that your smoke and food smells can drift into other people's homes and be considerate if you get complaints.
BBQ, bonfire and fire pit
- Do not use petrol or paraffin to light your charcoal. Only use fire lighters, or starter fuels on cold coals.
- Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby for emergencies. Be careful if a hose has been left in sunlight, if there's water in the pipe this could come out boiling hot. Make sure to run the water off first.
- When you've finished, wait until the BBQ, bonfire or firepit is cold and fully extinguished before moving it.
- Do not put the ashes into a bin while hot, this could cause a fire.
Many supermarkets have stopped selling disposable BBQs over the last few years and bans are in place to use them in some public places. If you do use a disposable BBQ in your garden, never place it directly on grass or prop up on anything wooden. They must be on a flat, even surface.
It may not seem like an obvious fire hazard, but it's important to be cautious of the items you place on or near your window sill. When you have a mirror or glass object that's curved, it makes the glass act as a lens and can bounce onto nearby flammable objects.
- Never put mirrors or glass ornaments on a window sill.
- Keep flammable items, such as aerosol deodorants and hairsprays away from the window too.
- Even on a cold day, direct sunlight can reflect onto these items and the sun's rays get even stronger if magnified by glass.
If last year's summer is anything to go by, then it's likely we'll be using electric fans to try and cool us down. Or, annoyingly, sometimes just blowing around more warm air.
- Always place the fan on a flat surface.
- Keep the fan clear of dust and fluff. Turn it off and wipe clean regularly.
- Don't leave the fan on unattended.
- Always buy electrical products from reputable retailers and manufactures as fake products can pose a higher fire risk.
- You can register all electrical items online, so then you'll be informed if there's even a problem or a product recall. You can register new and used goods.
- Make sure you have one working smoke alarm on every floor of your home.
- Test your smoke alarms regularly.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms that have fuel burning heating.
- Offer to test the smoke alarms of an older family member, neighbour or friend who needs help.
If you do test another household's smoke alarm, could you also spare 15 minutes to save a life? Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service created a DIY home fire safety check, that can be used wherever you are in the country.