Barbecue safety tips ahead of sunny spell over the weekend

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AS BARBECUES begin to sizzle across the county, the fire service is urging the public to take extra care when cooking outdoors this summer.

The message is being given by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, as the Portsmouth area is set to see temperatures soar this weekend, and into next week.

Community safety officer Gary Elston said: ‘After a slow start to the summer it’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy it with family and friends – many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue lit.

‘But to make sure your event is enjoyable and safe, please make yourself familiar with the safety precautions surrounding barbecues.

‘Also, if you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent. In recent years, some people have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.’

Other tips include:

· Only use barbecues in suitable and safe areas and never indoors or in a tent.

· Make sure the coals are cool before you move the barbecue and always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies

· Only use recommended fluids or fire lighters and never petrol.

Gary added: ‘This may seem like a long list but most of these things are common sense. By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue.’

Visit hantsfire.gov.uk/barbecue-safety.