As we enter the main summer months of the year more and more people will be looking to get their barbecues out. This will be a time for enjoyment for the majority of us however there is also an element of serious risk of personal injury. It is important to ensure that when hosting a barbecue party that safety is paramount and that no-one gets hurt or injured.
Although barbecuing is generally considered safe, it is not uncommon for a beautiful day to be ruined either yourself, a guest or family member being injured. Two of the most common risks that are associated with barbecues are home fires and human burns.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) website the last time figures were collected by Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System in 2002, an estimated 1,800 people visited A&E in the UK having had an accident involving a barbecue. The most common types of barbecue accidents in these figures were burns/scald/other injury related to fire and flame (800) or cut/tear by sharp edges (200). Common injuries from barbecues can be; first degree burns, smoke inhalation and fingertip cuts from knives.
As with everything there are always risks however there are a few things you can do to make sure you have a safe BBQ party. Here are some of ROSPA and our own safety tips for you to consider:
- When purchasing a barbecue ensure that you choose one which is strong and sturdy. One that cannot topple over easily.Check your barbecue is in good condition especially if it has not been used for some time.
- Start your barbecue in good time so it is at the right cooking temperatureDo not start a gas grill with the cover closed.
- Be careful when using the lighting liquid – when lighting up the fire it can flare up towards your face causing first or second degree burns.
- Consider the location of the barbecue – ensure that the barbecue is on level ground and away from hanging trees, sheds, fences or anything else which could catch fire easily.
- Use long handled tools.
- Avoid having children or pets near the barbecue
- Remember the metal parts of the barbecue can become hot – don’t try to move it until it has cooled down.
- Make sure the barbecue is fully extinguished before you leave it.
If the British summer does transpire to be a hot one then you can expect a lot more barbecue activity. Additionally, it was reported in the Telegraph in 2012 that a number of Britons were damaging property through barbecuing whilst drunk. Whilst it is tempting to quench your thirst in the hot weather please do not overdo it on the alcohol! Let’s hope for a nice warm, sunny, safe and enjoyable summer ahead.