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Make sure we’re not unwelcome guests at your barbecue, say firefighters from West Sussex County Council Fire and Rescue Service.
Jackie Boyle, Community Fire and Road Safety Officer, said: “We want people to enjoy themselves this summer. But there hasn’t been a significant amount of rainfall for quite some time now and the conditions are dry.
“So we’re urging people to take care when barbecuing and think about what they’re doing.
“A barbecue should be a pleasant experience – but it’s easy to be distracted when you have friends and family around you while cooking.”
The Fire and Rescue Service’s advice is:
· Put the barbecue on a flat site, well away from sheds, trees and fences.
· Keep children and pets well away from the cooking area.
· Never leave the barbecue, matches or other lighting materials unattended.
· Never use petrol to light the barbecue.
· Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
· If using a disposable barbecue be especially careful how you ignite it and how you dispose of it. Remember they retain their heat for a significant time.
The Fire and Rescue Service is also urging people to take extra care when lighting bonfires.
“As with barbecues, never ever use petrol because it can ignite and get out of control very quickly,” said Jackie.
If you must have a fire:
· It should be downwind, at least 10m away from any buildings or structures.
· Clear dry vegetation, such as leaves, to form a circle of earth around the fire.
· Do not leave fires unattended.
· Only use approved lighting fuels – never petrol.
· Make sure fires are fully extinguished after use.
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “By following this advice from our Fire and Rescue Service experts, you’ll make sure it’s only the food that sizzles at your barbecue.”