Communities warned around the dangers of using BBQs in public spots

Firefighters are urging the public to enjoy BBQs responsibly this summer in an effort to limit the chances of accidental fires happening in Staffordshire.

We recognise that local communities will be taking to the outdoors to enjoy the warm weather over the next few months, but we want to make sure that people know the risks around using open BBQs in green spaces and the places which they are banned across the region.

Some fires are started accidentally with common causes including carelessly discarded cigarettes or rubbish left lying around in direct sunlight, but disposable barbecues are also a serious concern for us.

If they are left unattended or not disposed of safely they could result in a wildfire, especially when grass is tinder dry in the warmer months.

There is a complete ban on the use of BBQs within the grounds of Cannock Chase and the Staffordshire Moorlands in order to combat this risk. Disposable or fixed BBQs as well as camp fires cannot be used in these areas under any circumstances.

Ben Sourbutts, Prevent Delivery Lead for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We know that people will be enjoying the outdoors when the weather is good, but we urge everyone to make sure they don’t increase the chances of a fire. That means being aware of the risks.

“Please control your actions and remember fires doesn’t discriminate, it burns whatever is in its path, whether that is grass, trees, cars, homes or businesses.

“Barbecues should never be used in the countryside and across popular beauty spots within the county. They can easily spread to surrounding shrubbery and can quickly escalate into a dangerous and uncontainable wildfire.

“They should never be left unattended and should not be used when the person in-charge is consuming alcohol.”

Barbecues are one of the best ways of enjoying good weather and socialising with friends and family. When it’s sunny, the barbecues tend to always come out and we often see an increase in barbecue-related incidents.

If you are planning on using a barbecue, we advise on the following safety guidelines:

  • Don’t leave a barbecue unattended and make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste
  • Only light a barbecue with appropriate fuels - don’t use petrol or white spirit and remember to always keep water or sand nearby for emergencies
  • Make sure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it
  • If you do use a disposable barbecue, only use it on an even surface, such as concrete, bricks or paving slabs.

For more information on how to stay safe when handling barbecues, visit: BBQ safety (