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Your Safety at Home
...staying safe in the home & garden
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!
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.
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.
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.