Barbecues and Chiminea Safety

Chiminea can be a safer option than open fires or fire pits because they enclose most of the flame.

When used properly, a chiminea can be a heat source and add a nice atmosphere to your garden. However, they can also be dangerous.

Everyone knows that barbecues can start a fire. Please familiarise yourself with how to use barbecues and chiminea safely. It could save your life.

Barbecues and Chimineas

Each year, we attend incidents involving barbecues and chiminea that have started fires and gotten out of control. Unfortunately, some of these incidents have been fatal or caused serious injuries.

Using a barbecue or chiminea safely

These pieces of equipment burn very hot and can cause burns or start a fire. Please follow our advice to protect yourself and your loved ones.

  • Use only firelighters or kindling to start the fire, never accelerants like petrol.

  • Burn only kindling, coals or wood, never plastic or other waste items.

  • If using a gas barbecue, make sure all its joints and connections are sound and in good working condition.

  • Keep a ‘safe zone’ around the heated device where children and pets are not allowed.

  • Never leave it unattended while lit.

  • Supervise the area at all times, especially if children and animals are present.

  • Do not consume excessive amounts of alcohol while in charge of a fire.

  • Use the device only for its intended purpose and in accordance with its official instructions.

Before You Start

You can make using your barbecue or chiminea safer by setting up properly before lighting it.

  • Be mindful of smoke affecting any neighbouring properties.

  • Make sure the equipment is on even, firm ground and won’t topple over.

  • Do not place it near fence panels, decking, or garden furniture.

  • Plan to keep the fire/flames small in size. If they are coming out of the top or front of your chiminea, the fire is too large.

  • Keep a hosepipe or bucket of water handy to extinguish any unintended fire.

Before Going To Bed

A fire can quickly start and get out of control. It’s vital to thoroughly extinguish all flames before leaving or going to bed for the night.

  • Use water from a bucket or hose to thoroughly extinguish the flames.

  • Do not place hot coals in the bin – let them cool where they are overnight.

  • Preferably submerge all hot ashes in water before binning them. We have attended many fires caused by hot ashes being placed in household waste or wheelie bins.

  • Check the device is cool to the touch before going to bed for the night.

If You Have A Fire

If your barbecue or chiminea starts a fire, don’t try to extinguish it yourself. This is the point at which many people are injured.

Get out, stay out, and call us out by dialling 999.

Staying Safe While Cooking

Cooking of any kind can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. While barbecues present their own challenges and risks, it’s vital that you stay alert when using any heat source like hotplates, hobs, or grills.

For more information on how you can stay safe, please read our cooking safety tips.