Can you BBQ in a heatwave? Latest advice on lighting a BBQ

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The fire service is asking the public to refrain from using disposable barbecues in hot weather

Another heatwave will hit the UK this summer.

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Temperatures are expected to hit 35C while the Met Office has issued a level three heat warning due to persistently high temperatures.

In July, the UK experienced its hottest weather on record, with temperatures reaching 41°C.

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Many people like to enjoy the hot summer weather with a barbecue with friends and family.

However, with drought conditions across England and rainfall down by an average of 26%, can you barbecue during the August heatwave?

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Here’s everything you need to know.

A group of friends enjoy a barbecue in Windsor, England (Photo: Getty Images)

Are you allowed to BBQ during the August heatwave?

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Fire brigades across the UK have warned people planning to grill in hot weather.

They recommend using grills only in a “suitable and safe environment” and call anyone who grills on dry grass “reckless”.

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They have asked the public never to leave a grill unattended and to ensure the fire is fully extinguished after use.

Barbecues should not be lit in open countryside, on sand dunes or in woods.

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There is a real risk of wildfires in the UK due to the extreme, persistently high temperatures that prevail in the region.

A drought has been reported in eight areas of England and many grass areas have dried up.

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France is currently battling a wave of wildfires in its southwestern region that have burned more than 6,500 hectares.

Is there a ban on lighting barbecues?

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Due to the heatwave, some communities across England have banned single-use barbecues.

They were banned by Birmingham City and Nottingham City Councils after fire and rescue services had to deal with a series of fires caused by them over the last month.

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Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has called for a total ban on single-use barbecues, citing the cost of fighting a recent fire which reached £250,000.

Some supermarket chains have banned single-use grills from their stores, including Marks and Spencer, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Waitrose and Co-Op.

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Sainsbury’s has withdrawn disposable grills as a “precautionary measure”, while Tesco has also withdrawn its sale as of August 11.

An online petition to ban single-use barbecues in environmentally vulnerable areas has already garnered over 20,000 signatures.

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Disposable grills are not sold in several UK supermarkets (Photo: Adobe)

What’s the latest advice?

Firefighters in drought-hit areas have offered advice to the public on how to safely barbecue during the August heatwave.

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London Fire Brigade Deputy Fire Safety Officer Charlie Pugsley said: “We want people to enjoy the glorious weather and to do so safely.

“Grilling on dry grass is reckless and can easily cause a really serious fire – damaging the immediate area and endangering nearby properties.

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“We also appeal to people to think twice before grilling on the balcony. It’s easier than you might think for a balcony fire to spread to others, which could not only leave you homeless but also displace hundreds of your neighbors.

“We don’t want to take the fun out of the heatwave, but for the good of our city – and our firefighters who have to work in the sweltering heat to fight these blazes – we really want people to take our advice on the board.” We ask the public to remain vigilant and call 999 as soon as they see any signs of smoldering grass.”

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While other services have urged residents to ditch the use of disposable grills entirely.

Haywards Heath Fire Station in Sussex said on Twitter: “Warning of extreme heat weather for the next few days. Please do not use disposable grills or campfires. Please do your bit to help fire departments across the country. Crews have taken part in a number of fires this week that could have been avoided with extra care.

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Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service shared a video on Twitter showing the aftermath of a fire, urging people to “leave the portable BBQ at home”.

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