Categories: Breaking News, Safety

London’s Fire Commissioner calls for ban on disposable BBQs


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London’s Fire Commissioner has called for a total ban on disposable barbecues following one of the busiest weeks in London Fire Brigade’s history.

The call comes ahead of a possible second summer heatwave and an unprecedented number of large grassland fires London’s firefighters worked in tough conditions to tackle in recent weeks.

New statistics show that week commencing Monday, 18 July the Brigade received 8,302 calls and attended 3,231 incidents. In addition: Firefighters attended more than 1,000 fires, the number of 999 calls received was more than double taken for the same period last year and thirty-four grass fires required an attendance of four fire engine and above.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) has said that disposable barbecues pose a significant fire risk if they are not put out properly as they can cause grass fires in open spaces and scorch the grassed areas. The recent dry weather has increased the chances of a fire caused by a disposable barbecue.

LFB also noted that people should not barbecue on balconies and during this exceptional dry spell and that Londoners should not have any barbecues or open fires in parks and public spaces.

London’s Fire Commissioner Andy Roe has already written to local authorities asking for a temporary ban on the use of barbecues in all public parks and open spaces. 

Retailers, including Waitrose and Aldi, have announced they will no longer stock disposable barbecues because of the detrimental impact they have on the environment and wildlife.

Marks & Spencer has also stopped selling disposable barbecues in stores over the increased fire risk. Marks & Spencer tweeted: “Given the unusually hot and dry conditions, we’ve taken the precautionary step of removing them from sale across the UK.”

The London Fire Brigade has backed a petition set up by Toby Tyler whose son Will was severely burned by a disposable barbecue. The petition can be found here

Commissioner Roe said: “Despite our grass fire warnings, we’ve still seen some people behaving carelessly and recklessly. On Saturday (23rd July) firefighters prevented a serious blaze at Wanstead Flats caused using a disposable barbecue. We need urgent action now to see a national ban on the sale of disposable barbecues. They can be bought for as little as five pounds and can cause untold damage, especially when the grass is as dry as it has been over the last few weeks.

“Last week is another example of how we are increasingly being challenged by new extremes of weather as our climate changes and we’re developing long-term strategies to deal with more incidents like this in the future.”

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