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Cook Safely this Summer

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is urging residents to take extra care when cooking at home and when using barbecues this summer.

Steve Leonard, West Hub Group Manager, said: “While we want you to enjoy the summer weather, please take care when you cook. A barbecue with friends and family is a great way to spend your time, but if you don’t take due care, a fire could easily start and grow out of control.

“Keep a bucket of water nearby, make sure your barbecue is on a flat, even surface and do not use disposable barbecues on flammable surfaces – that will start a fire.”

Last July was incredibly busy for fire and rescue services across the UK. Between Saturday, 16 July and Wednesday, 20 July, Thames Valley Fire Control Service (TVFCS) took over 1,000 calls and on the hottest day, Tuesday, 19 July, TVFCS staff took more than 550 emergency calls from across the Thames Valley. By taking extra care when cooking, you can keep yourself safe and help your fire and rescue service stay prepared to tackle other emergencies.

If the worst does happen and a fire breaks out, don’t take risks by tackling it yourself. Get out, stay out and call 999.

Keep yourself safe when barbecuing by following these simple steps:

  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees and shrubs.
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
  • Set up your barbecue on level ground.
  • If you have a gas barbecue always store gas cylinders outside.
  • Use only approved lighter fluids and only ever on cold coals.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Be careful when cooking fatty foods, the dripping fat can cause the barbecue to flare up.
  • Don’t leave a lit barbecue unattended.
  • Don’t cook if you’re affected by alcohol or prescription drugs.
  • Don’t take a barbecue indoors – even when the flames aren’t visible, it can still give off carbon monoxide fumes, which can be deadly.
  • Don’t use disposable barbecues on flammable or uneven surfaces.

For more information about barbecuing and bonfire safety this summer, visit our website.