Put your BBQ out before calling it a night

Picture courtesy of Adur & Worthing Councils

Is your BBQ really out? That’s the question firefighters in West Sussex want everyone to consider before putting disposable BBQs in the bin this summer.

The warning comes after firefighters were called to deal with a bin on fire at Middle Ground Recreation Ground in Shoreham-by-Sea on Saturday night. The fire began after someone put a hot disposable BBQ in the bin.

The bin began to smoulder before being completely destroyed by fire.

Earlier in the year, a waste collection vehicle operated by Adur & Worthing Councils was completely destroyed after it collected a bin containing a disposable BBQ that hadn’t been extinguished properly. The vehicle cost around £30,000 to replace, and impacted the level of service they were able to offer until it was replaced.

Disposable BBQs should be left to cool for several hours, and covered with plenty of cold water to ensure no risk of reignition. Take care when placing disposable BBQs in kerbside collection bins at home as well, and avoid placing a cooled BBQ in a bin with any flammable liquids which could accelerate reignition.

With warmer weather forecast over the coming days, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding everyone planning on having a BBQ to make sure it is fully extinguished before safely disposing of their BBQ.

Mark Andrews, WSFRS’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: “We know people will want to make the most of the warmer weather that’s forecast after we had an exceptionally wet April. But we would like to remind everyone, if you're heading out and making use of a disposable BBQ, please ensure it has cooled down before putting it in the bin. 

“To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then pour copious amounts of water over it to make sure it is out before putting it in the bin.

“Please do not put hot BBQs in the bin.”

The risk is heightened over the next few days, with The Met Office warning that risk of wildfires in the county remains high right through to the weekend. Their Fire Severity Index assesses wind speed, temperature, time of year and rainfall to predict how severe a fire would be if it were to break out.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “Following this simple advice can help prevent an emergency situation from happening in the first place, meaning everyone can enjoy their BBQ in the sunshine without the risk of danger to anyone else.”

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