Safe Barbeque This Summer

We at Kilkenny County Council Fire and Rescue Service recommend and encourage you to follow these guidelines for a safe and fun barbecue season this summer and to take some basic precautions to ensure that the experience of eating outdoors is both fun and safe.

Barbecue Safety

Although most barbecues present no problems, there have been examples of fires, serious injuries and deaths caused by the use of flammable liquids or siting barbecues too close to fences, garden sheds, buildings or trees.

Following these guidelines should ensure that everyone has a happy and SAFE barbecue season.


  • Ensure that the barbecue itself is stable and located on level ground and if you are anywhere other than in your own garden - remember the Country Code.
  • If there is a wind blowing, make sure that the wind is blowing away from you when you light the barbecue (just in case it flares up).
  • Ensure that you are not wearing any loose clothing that could flap on to the lighted barbecue and ignite.
  • Keep the barbecue well away from over hanging obstructions such as tree branches, and keep a safe distance from fences, garden sheds, tents and caravans.
  • Do not use any flammable liquids other than recommended barbecue lighting fluid. NEVER USE METHYLATED SPIRITS, PARAFFIN OR PETROL.
  • Prepare for the barbecue early using good quality materials. Start by building your charcoal in a pyramid, preferably use fire lighters. If you choose to use lighting fluid, follow the manufacturer's instructions and DO NOT SPRAY ON TO A HOT BARBECUE. IT MAY BLOW UP IN YOUR FACE.
  • When lighting the barbecue, do so at arms length and do not put your face over the range.
  • Use long-handed tools and thick oven gloves when cooking food on the barbecue.
  • Make sure that you have a container of water close by in case of emergency. Use a water mist sprayer to douse any flare-ups caused by dripping fat. Always turn off the gas supply before extinguishing the fire in a gas fired barbecue.
  • Never move the barbecue once it is lit. This is one of the most common causes of burns.
  • Keep children away from the barbecue when lighted and after cooking has finished, as it may still be hot.  Ensure matches and lighters are placed out of reach from children.
  • Make sure all children are well supervised and kept well away from the barbecue. Pets should also be kept well away.
  • Never leave the barbecue fire unattended. If burning charcoal, ensure the barbecue is fully extinguished by pouring water on it, rather than leaving it to burn out.
  • Dispose of the charcoal safely after the barbecue has cooled completely.  Those using gas powered barbecues should check gas pipe lines before use and ensure that the gas cylinder is connected correctly.

Kilkenny Fire and Rescue Service wishes you a happy and safe barbecue season this summer
There is no such thing as a safe fire.  It's better for you to prevent fire than to fight it.  Tackling fire is a job best left to professional firefighters.

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