When the sun comes out it's tempting to fire up the barbecue and spend more times outdoors. However, with so many people at home during the coronavirus pandemic, we ask that you pay particular attention to our safety tips, be considerate of your neighbours and under no circumstances have a barbecue on your balcony.
- Have fire extinguisher close to hand and know how to use it. You also need to know how to cut the gas supply, and it's a good idea to know how to treat a burn.
- Don't cook in communal areas. Have your barbecues in a private space, away from neighbours and well away from a shed, trees or shrubs.
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
- Never leave your barbecue unattended.
- Smoke can get in hair, clothes, eyes and lungs but also contains carbon monoxide and other dangerous substances, so it's best to keep your distance whenever possible.
- Wash your hands before preparing food, after touching raw meat and before eating.
- Grilling gloves and utensils with a long handle will keep arms and hands safe from flames.
- Check food is cooked: Ideally burgers, chicken and sausages should be tested with a meat thermometer before eating and no pink meat should be visible. Serve food steaming hot.
- After you have finished cooking, check the charcoal is cold or the gas has been turned off. Barbecues can stay hot for hours, so be really careful moving them.
- London Fire Brigade advises never to use barbecues (including disposables) on balconies or indoors: Make sure you store your barbecue in a safe, dry place and not on your balcony.
See more advice on safer barbecues from London Fire Brigade.