Firefighters called to dozens of BBQ fires each year as caution urged

The SFRS has said it is 'imperative' that members of the public exercise caution.

Firefighters called to dozens of BBQ fires each year as caution urged iStock

Firefighters are being called out to dozens of barbecue fires each year, new figures show.

Official statistics indicate that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have had 161 such call-outs since 2017/2018.

The figures were released following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

People across Scotland have been urged to exercise caution when using barbecues.

Warnings have already been put in place for wildfires with hot weather across the UK this summer.

Supermarkets including Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s have all taken steps to ban the sale of disposable barbecues due to the fire risk.

David Farries, SFRS’s director of service delivery, underlined the need for people to be careful in order to avoid injury or fire spread.

“We welcome any support to highlight our advice to help keep communities safe,” said Mr Farries.

“We once again urge people to visit our website for more information about seasonal summer risks and this includes key advice for the safe use of barbecues.

“It is imperative that the public exercises caution as carelessness can result in injury or fire spread which can damage property and the surrounding environment.”

Mr Farries, who chairs the National On Call Leadership Forum, added: “We commend all of our on call firefighters who respond at a moment’s notice to protect communities.

“There is no doubt that recruitment can be challenging within more rural and remote communities for a variety of reasons and that is why we have commenced a project that will drive improvements in how we attract and recruit people.

“We will continue to engage with key stakeholders and encourage people to help us provide a service for the community by the community by becoming an on call firefighter.”

Liam McArthur, the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ justice, policing and fire spokesman, urged Scots to follow the advice of the fire service.

“With summer in full swing, more and more Scots will be out in their gardens, in the park or exploring the countryside enjoying a barbeque,” said McArthur.

“These figures show that on dozens of occasions these barbeques have got out of control.

“Scotland is facing the consequence of the climate emergency first-hand. It is easier than ever for fires to spread out of control, damaging property and our beautiful natural environment.

“I would urge the public to listen to the fire service’s advice, exercise caution, never leave a barbeque unattended and always wait until ashes are cold to touch before binning them.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are clear that people should act responsibly when using and disposing of barbecues.

“Barbecues, including disposable ones, should never be left unattended and people must ensure they are completely cool before they are disposed of safely, along with all other rubbish.”

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