Firefighters' warning over disposable barbecues as Easter weekend arrives

Fire crews have issues a plea for people to clear up after themselves while enjoying the North East’s open spaces – with fears especially raised over the risks of disposable barbecues.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 4:25 pm

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has asked people to ensure they take home their waste after a number of parks and coastal areas were left littered earlier this week as people enjoyed the warm and sunny weather and were able to gather in groups of six under the easing of the lockdown.

Now, as friends and families meet up over the Bank Holiday weekend, firefighters have put together a plea for areas to be left free of waste to reduce the risk it will be set alight, with particular concerns over disposable barbecues, which can cause bin fires and injuries.

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People have been asked to take care when using disposable barbecues by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, as well as to tidy up after themselves when visiting parks and outdoor spaces to reduce the risk of waste fires.

Firefighter Jonathan Bateman said: “Now the lockdown has eased, more of us are going out.

"It’s been a long winter but there are thinks which I need you to do to make sure that we can all enjoy the weather in our parks, gardens and outside spaces.

“Waste – no one likes to relax and spend time in our parks when they are tripping over discarded cans, broken bottles and food wrappers.

“It turns our parks and green spaces into waste sites and doesn’t make for a nice environment to spend our time in.

“Can children play if they are running around in all this mess?

“Please use nearby bins but if they are full, then take the rubbish with you.

"By doing so, you can help reduce the chances of refuse fires occurring, which then reduces the number of times we’re being called out.”

Anyone using a barbecue is advised to light it away from sheds, fences and other structures and materials which could catch light and people are advised not to use accelerants and to keep children and pets away at safe distance.

Disposable barbecues retain heat for several hours and people are asked to follow the instructions carefully, place them on level ground and on bricks or paving slabs, allow them to cool down and extinguish the fire fully using water or sand.

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