Despite seeing the first rain in many weeks, the bank holiday this weekend will no doubt see Brits across the country dusting off their BBQs! However, with another heatwave set to arrive this weekend, are we aware of the potential risks of BBQing in hot weather?
- The home counties (Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Hertfordshire) are the most garden fire-prone areas of the UK, making up 80% of the top 5
- Bedfordshire Fire Authority has had 181 garden fire callouts per 100,000 residents in the last decade.
- There’s been a total of 1,230 garden fires in Bedfordshire over the past decade
- Hereford and Worcestershire have seen the biggest increase in garden fires over the last decade, averaging a 24% increase each year
That’s according to new research by Confused.com (Q3, 2022), which analysed outdoor incident report data from Fire and Rescue Services across Great Britain.
Read on for tips on how to enjoy your BBQ sensibly this weekend.
Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com comments: ‘Within recent years, this summer being no exception, we’ve seen unprecedented temperatures – seeing the rate of garden-related fires, and therefore wildfires, rise. In fact, by May this year, the UK had already surpassed the total number of wildfires seen in 2021. However, as most aren’t used to these soaring temperatures, we may not be aware of the dangerous situations we could be putting ourselves in.
‘There are every-day precautions that we can therefore take while enjoying the hot weather. This includes:
- Disposing of cigarettes appropriately. Cigarettes that have not been properly extinguished may start a fire on the smallest bits of dry grass.
- If having a barbecue, make sure it’s never left unattended. Barbecues should be on a flat surface, away from any trees, plants or sheds. We also recommend using approved barbecue fuel or fire lighters – never paraffin.
- Ensuring there is no glass on the floor. Glass left on dry grass could start a fire by magnifying the sun. If you see dry grass smouldering, call 999 and report it immediately.
‘If a fire gets out of control, we could be at risk of damaging any nearby items or buildings.’