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Your Safety at Home

...staying safe in the home & garden

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In the garden

Barbecue Safety


* Don't cook if you're affected by alcohol or prescription drugs.

* Never leave barbecues unattended.

* Never take a barbecue of any kind, or lit charcoal into an enclosed space like a tent or awning. The carbon monoxide it gives off can be lethal.  See the CO-Awareness carbon monixide safety poster for more information (opens new window)

* Make sure that your barbecue is in good working order.

* Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies.

* Only use barbecues in suitable and safe areas.

* Set up your barbecue on level ground away from bushes, tents or other buildings and do not put it where you have to squeeze past it.

* Put about 5 cm of charcoal in the barbecue, keep the rest away from the fire.

* Only use recommended fluids or fire lighters and never petrol.

* Wear suitable clothing and use appropriate long handled tools.

* Be careful when cooking fatty foods, the dripping fat can cause the barbecue to flare up.

* Make sure the coals are cool before you move the barbecue. Once cool, dispose of the ashes safely - never place them in dustbins.

* Keep young children, animals and ball games away from the cooking area.



Enjoy yourself, but too much alcohol and fire don't mix!

Gas Barbecues

* Bottled gas barbecues need special care when being turned on and off.

* Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.

* Change gas cylinders in the open air if possible or open doors and windows to provide good ventilation.

* When you've finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinders before you turn off the barbecue controls, to ensure any gas in the pipeline is used up.

* If you have a protective cover for your BBQ ensure that the unit is completely cool before covering and storing away.

* If you suspect a leak to the gas cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around all joints and watch for bubbles.

* If you find a leaky joint, try to tighten it.

* But do not overtighten.


Storing Gas Cylinders

* Store gas cylinders outside.

* Keep gas cylinders away from frost and direct sunlight.

* Never store gas cylinders under the stairs of your home - if you are upstairs this is your means of escape from a fire.

* Do not keep more spare gas cylinders than you need.


Garden appliances

* When buying electrical garden (or DIY) tools, look for the kite mark.

* Check cables and flexes regularly for frays and kinks.

* Check plugs to make sure they are firmly wired and not damaged.

* Replace damaged flex or plugs.

* Use a residual current device (RCD) or power breaker on all appliances.

* Fully unwind extension leads before use.