Barbecues warning in Hartlepool after figures reveal potential for summer cooking fires spike

A warning has been issued to residents in the region over summer fire dangers stemming from barbecues, cooking and disposing of rubbish.
Picture c/o PixabayPicture c/o Pixabay
Picture c/o Pixabay

Cleveland Fire Brigade has issued a series of fire safety tips for residents over the summer, including being extra vigilant with barbecues, taking care in the kitchen and disposing of rubbish safely.

Figures show in June, July and August last year there were 34 house fires across Cleveland with cooking the main cause.

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Fire chiefs added this year they have already had a number of incidents of fires spreading from barbecues.

Another warning is over smoking related incidents, which are the second biggest cause of fires according to fire chiefs, who warned cigarettes should be extinguished properly.

They added hot materials, like barbecue ashes, should never be dumped in the bin.

A warning has also been issued over the dangers of not storing garden refuse securely and away from properties, as Cleveland Fire officers said this can cause fires from barbecues to spread and can be a target for arsonists.

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Steve Johnson, senior head of prevention and engagement at Cleveland Fire Brigade, warned of the serious consequences if barbecues get out of hand in Hartlepool and across the region.

He said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves during the long and hot summer months but take care to rule out any potential hazards.

“Think about where you are positioning your BBQ. Not close to buildings or fences, or blocking access.

“The BBQ should be monitored at all times and children and pets kept at a safe distance and ensure that after use BBQ coals are disposed of safely.

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“Careless cooking can be a recipe for disaster, both indoors and out. Be sensible and don’t leave cooking unattended, chuck out your chip pan – they should never be used.

“And remember that drinking can lead to distractions so don’t drink and cook.”

The tips are part of Cleveland Fire Brigade’s summer safety campaign and further information can be found at

Fire chiefs also gave an example how last month firefighters from Grangetown Community Fire Station were called to a property after a fence was accidentally set alight from a barbecue.

It rapidly spread to the shed and caused heat damage to the house with six children, aged 13 weeks to 12-years-old, having to be rescued through a ground floor window.

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