Approximately 1,800 people a year visit A&E with barbecue-related injuries. Here are 10 top tips to ensure you and your family don’t join them…
~ Never leave raw food in the sun and keep cooked and raw food separate to avoid food poisoning
~ Place barbecues on level ground away from the house, shed, fences, overhanging plants and children’s play areas
~ Allow a barbecue to cool down completely before moving it and empty cold ash on to bare garden soil, not into the dustbin
~ For coal barbecues use just enough fuel to cover the base to a depth of 5cm (2 in) and use a small quantity of firelighters, never petrol
~ Use tongs to turn fatty food not a fork or sharp implement as this pierces the fat allowing it to drip on to the fire causing a flare up
~ Ensure the controls and cylinder valve are turned off before changing a gas cylinder in the open air. Tighten connections but do not over-tighten them
~ When finished with a gas barbecue turn off the gas cylinder before the barbecue controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipeline is used up.
~ If you think a gas cylinder connections or pipe work have a leak, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles from leaky joints.
~ Use long-handled tools to minimise hot fat spitting on to your hands and arms
~ Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before use to prevent them catching fire