Late Spring and early summer is often the perfect time to have a barbecue, and with COVID lockdown rules being relaxed in parts of the country, a garden barbecue with family and friends - socially distanced of course - is going to be a common event.
If you are going to have a barbecue, make sure you do so safely.
Barbecues generally bring with it alcohol. The more alcohol people drink the higher the risk of accidents. Add into the equation hot coals, and the risk increases further. Always take care using barbecues. Try and keep the alcohol until the cooking is over.
Concentrate on the barbecue - ask others to keep children, pets, games, and lively adults away from the cooking areas. NEVER leave a barbecue unattended. It is easy to be distracted when you are entertaining, but that is when accidents occur.
NEVER use petrol or paraffin to revive your barbecue if it looks like it has gone out. Use only lighters or starter fuel, and only in moderation.
Before lighting your barbecue, make sure it is in good working order and on flat ground away from sheds, fences, trees and shrubs that could easily catch fire. We have had the driest Spring on record, so please avoid lighting a barbecue away from your garden. We do not want fires like the Winter Hill Fire a few years back. Our emergency services have had a busy year, do not be responsible for making it busier for them.
Always keep a bucket of water or a hose pipe nearby in case of emergencies.
NEVER overfill the barbecue with charcoal: cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of about 50mm (two inches).
When you've finished cooking, keep everyone away from the barbecue and make sure it is cool before trying to move it.
Sadly people do, but NEVER use a barbecue on your balcony under any circumstances. NEVER put ashes straight into a dustbin/wheelie bin. And NEVER light a barbecue indoors. Yes seriously people do this!
If you are using gas barbecues, take special care when turning bottled gas on and off. Make sure the tap is off before changing bottles, and do it in the open air. Remember to turn off the gas when you finish cooking.
KSH Safety Services have several food safety courses available, including Level 2 Food Safety in Catering.