Don’t use petrol to start barbecues urge Beds Fire Service

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Fire Officers have said that people are putting lives at risk because they are using petrol to get their barbecue going.

On Thursday Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) attended two separate incidents where householders had “a very lucky escape”, after their BBQ got out of control and resulted in serious fires because of petrol.

The first incident occurred at 1 pm, when a resident in Wyatt Road, Kempston, attempted to put petrol from a can onto a lit BBQ. The fuel ignited and spread back to the can, and the occupier threw the flaming can across the garden, setting fire to the plastic patio furniture and a fence. The fire was out when firefighters from Kempston Fire Station arrived, and nobody was injured.

Four hours later, the same fire crew from Kempston was sent to another barbecue fire in Caister Road, Bedford, when a badly maintained BBQ fell over onto a nearby can of petrol. Once again the fire was out when the Fire and Rescue Service arrived, and nobody was injured.

In both cases, young children were present at the time of the fires.

Watch Manager Dave Wright, from White Watch at Kempston Fire Station, who attended both incidents said:

“Regardless of how difficult it may be starting a BBQ, or getting it going, you should never, ever use petrol. Or even have petrol anywhere near the BBQ. Petrol fumes are explosive and can ignite instantly. The consequences could be fatal.”

“Although neither of these fires resulted in serious damage to property, the outcome could have been devastating. In both instances, the situations had got out of control very quickly and the occupiers were in immediate difficulty and danger. The fact that young children were present on both occasions highlights they all had a very lucky escape.”

“When lighting your BBQ, allow time for the coals to heat up. Barbecuing is not an instant process, like turning on a cooker. Don’t place people’s lives at risk by forgetting about the dangers of putting petrol on or near a fire.”