A WARNING has been issued to the public to take extra care when disposing of barbecues after a fire in Lyme Regis.
Lyme Regis Town Council’s enforcement officers’ hut and a nearby bin at Monmouth Beach car park were recently destroyed after a fire broke out in the bin.
A crew from Lyme Regis were called out in the early hours of the morning on June 9 and used two hose reel jets to extinguish the blaze.
It is believed a disposable barbecue had been placed into the bin before it had cooled fully, and then smouldered for some hours before catching alight.
A spokesman for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “At this time of year, lots of people will be using barbecues and we urge them to take proper precautions to prevent the risk of fire.
“In Lyme Regis, there are designated bins for the safe disposal of barbecues, otherwise always ensure that coals are completely cold before being thrown away, ideally by damping down with water.
“You should never dispose of hot barbecue ashes in plastic rubbish bins, as this can easily start a fire.”
Town council staff dismantled the remains of the hut and attempted to salvage any of the contents, but found everything had been destroyed by fire.
The nearby parking payment machine also suffered damage and will be removed and replaced.
The council is now re-locating all litter bins which are near to other structures to prevent further incidents of this kind.
The council’s operations manager Matt Adamson-Drage said: “The council would like to thank the fire and rescue service for dealing with the incident efficiently, ensuring it was contained to the hut and the bin.
“Fortunately, it happened in the early hours of the morning when the area was quiet and no one was hurt.”
The public are encouraged to use the designated barbecue bins located on the seafront at Monmouth Beach, on the Cart Road in front of the amusement arcade, near the Royal Standard, near the Blue Sea Café, and on the Cart Road near Cobb Gate car park.
Other top tips for the safe use of barbecues include:
- Always position the barbecue on a level site, away from wooden fencing, sheds and hedges.
- Don’t place the barbecue on dry grass or vegetation.
- Use firelighters or barbecue fuel to light the coals – NEVER use petrol or paraffin.
- Keep children and pets well away from the cooking area and never leave the barbecue unattended.
- Be careful when grilling fatty foods, as the fat can cause the coals to flare up.
- Always have a bucket of water or garden hose to hand in case a barbecue gets out of hand.
- Make sure the controls and cylinder valves of a gas barbecue are turned off before you change the cylinder, which should be done in a well-ventilated area. Always check the connections for leaks.
- Store gas cylinders outside and protect them from direct sunlight and frost.
- Make sure your gas barbecue is correctly serviced and that all joints are tightened, safe and secure.
- Never use a barbecue indoors or inside a tent, as they produce potentially lethal carbon monoxide.
For more fire safety information, visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety.