East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo


Having a barbecue on a sunny day is a great way to enjoy the summer, but  it's also a very easy way for people                   to get burnt and property damaged if a few simple rules are not followed.

Setting up and getting started

  • Set up your barbecue on level ground away from bushes, tents or other buildings
  • Put only about 2 inches of charcoal in the barbecue and keep the rest away from the fire
  • Only use recommended fluids or firelighters and never petrol
  • Wear suitable clothing
  • Be careful when cooking fatty foods to avoid flare-ups
  • Make sure the coals are cool before trying to move the barbecue and empty ash onto garden soil
  • Never empty into a dustbin
  • Have a means of extinguishing any fire in an emergency on hand

Bottled Gas rules

  • Make sure the appliance controls and cylinder valves are turned off before you change the cylinder
  • Change the cylinder outside in fresh air
  • If you suspect a leak, brush soapy water over the pipe connections and look for bubbles, tighten (but do not over tighten) leaky joints
  • Always ensure LPG regulator is compatible with the cylinder and appliance.
  • Ensure all appliances are turned off at night

Disposable barbecues

  •  Consider how you will dispose of your barbecue once you have finished with it. Some areas have dedicated barbecue bins however you should always ensure your barbecue is fully cooled before disposing of it by pouring cold water on it. A barbecue that is still warm and not fully extinguished could re-ignite and cause a fire.
  • Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin.
  • Even if you have finished cooking your BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use putting you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Camping and Caravanning

  • Get permission to use a barbecue from the responsible person
  • Find out what firefighting arrangements on the campsite are and where the nearest telephone is
  • Keep a torch handy for emergencies and don't use a candle
  • Keep at least 6 metres between you and your neighbours
  • Position open fires downwind away from tents and caravans
  • Ensure all fires are out by dowsing them with water and smothering them with earth

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