We’ve been very fortunate since lockdown to have enjoyed some really lovely weather. And with more fine weather due over the coming weeks, we’ll be looking forward to a few more BBQ’s, particularly now that larger groups can start to get together out of doors.

Unlike many of our European and Southern Hemisphere counterparts, us Brits don’t always get much chance to cook outdoors.  As a result, we may not always be as ‘fire safety savvy’ when it comes to the BBQ season, and in particular when extinguishing the BBQ after use.

Before You Light the BBQ

Planning is important to keep you and your family safe when planning a BBQ.  The first thing to think about is where you are going to place the BBQ.  It’s important the space is clear of overhanging branches or next to debris or rubbish and on solid, flat ground.  It’s also a good idea to situate the BBQ out of the wind to avoid flames being blown around (and particularly onto the chef).  

You also need to consider what type of fuel is required for your BBQ and how you are going to extinguish the fire in both an emergency and after use.  Charcoal tends to be the most popular choice for most BBQ’s and it’s important to only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the BBQ and that you light the BBQ when the coals are cold. Excess charcoal should be kept in a safe place away from the fire.

If you use a BBQ that requires gas, you should replace the gas cylinder every summer as cold temperatures during the winter months can damage the casing. And you should change the gas outdoors or in a very well-ventilated area. Before you light your gas BBQ for the first time take some time to check the gas set-up for leaks. Simply brush soapy water around the joints of the pipe work, if you see any bubbles this indicates there is a gas leak.

Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher for your BBQ

It’s a good idea to invest in a suitable fire extinguisher, particularly if you are planning to have a number of BBQ’s over the coming weeks and months.  But it’s not just a case of buying any old extinguisher!

Water fire extinguishers for example are not suitable for putting out a BBQ fire.  This is because the fire will be fuelled by animal fat from the meat cooked on the grill – and oil fires and water should not be mixed.  Using water to put out your BBQ fire could cause a small but dangerous explosion from the fire and burning oil in mini.

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers should also be avoided on BBQ’ as they are more suitable for an enclosed environment as they can exclude the oxygen and smother the fire. But in the open air, particularly if it’s a bit breezy, the gas will dissolve quickly. Also, although the CO2 discharged from the extinguisher is very cold,  it will not significantly cool the fire which could also re-ignite if not extinguished fully.

Foam extinguishers, such as our Commander 1ltr foam range, is recommended for kitchens and putting out chip pan fires, so will be more suitable to use on a BBQ.  But be aware, if you use a foam extinguisher while there’s still food on the BBQ, it can’t be rescued or eaten once the fire is out.

Alternatively, you could invest in a 1 kg Commander Edge ABC powder extinguisher, which will extinguish the average barbecue fire.  The powder will  leave a  powder residue on the grill and coals but this can be wiped away easily when you’re ready to clean the equipment. 

What’s great about the foam or powder extinguishers is that you can also use these in the kitchen once BBQ season is over!

Fire Blanket

BBQ An alternative to a fire extinguisher is to have a fire blanket on hand in case of BBQ fire emergencies. Our 1.2 x 1.2 metre blanket cover most BBQ models and can be used quickly and easily to smother most flames.   Also, once the fire has been put out with a fire blanket, you should be able to retrieve most of the food even if may be a bit well done!

Hartson Fire

All of the products we recommend for use on a BBQ can be purchased online via our website Alternatively, you can call us on the number below to place an order: