PEOPLE are being warned to take care when using their barbecues during warm weather.

As part of its Fire Kills campaign, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is asking everyone to take extra care when cooking al fresco, especially when lighting barbecues or dealing with bad weather.

Alan Haley, Station Commander, said: “It’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends - many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue lit. We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand but please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.”

He added: “if you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent. In recent years, some people have, sadly, succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.”

Safety tips for barbecues include never leaving a barbecue unattended, making sure a barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste and keeping children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.

Station Commander Haley said: "By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. We have had a couple of occasions where people have poured petrol onto the charcoal in an effort to get it going and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and highly dangerous.

"Prepare well in advance and light the charcoal early. Most of all, enjoy yourself safely.”

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