Brigade issues Barbecue balcony warning ahead of Bank Holiday

Firefighters are urging Londoners not to use barbecues on their balconies ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

The Brigade has been called to 45 barbecues fires on balconies in the last five years, which are an especially dangerous place to put them as smouldering debris spits off the barbecues and floats down to other levels risking a blaze on different floors.

Last year, the city’s fire crews attended 66 barbecue related fires on balconies but also, gardens, parks and even one in a kitchen. There have already been ten incidents this year.

London Fire Brigade Community Safety Group Manager Mark Hazelton said: “This is not just about burnt burgers, barbecues left unattended or worse still placed on a balcony pose a risk of fire.

“Unattended barbecues or barbecues placed too close buildings cause a real risk of a fire spreading onto a fence, or decking or a stray curtain.

“We don’t want to spoil people’s fun but we’re just reminding people to take extra care. If you’re having a barbecue be sure to keep it outdoors, don’t drink too much while cooking and keep a close eye on it especially if there are children or pets around. Never have a barbecue on a balcony.”

2016 saw an incident in Greenwich where the residents in a flat on Victoria Parade had a barbecue on their balcony and then left the premises. The disposable barbecue was not completely out, it burned through and caught light to decking.

Barbecue safety tips:

• Never use a barbecue indoors or on a balcony.
• Position your barbecue on level ground and keep it well away from anything that may catch fire (sheds, fences, trees, tents etc.)
• Keep children, pets and garden games away from the barbecue
• Have a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergency use.
• Never use a barbecues indoors or in a unventilated space as there is a real risk of creating dangerous Carbon Monoxide gas.

London Fire Brigade