Beware: how your barbecue could cause a bin blaze

Enjoy that summer barbecue but take care to not start a fire by discarding the ashes into your rubbish bin or black sacks, Somerset Waste Partnership is warning.

Drench ashes with water or let them cool completely to avoid a rubbish fire threatening your home and family or causing a blaze in a waste truck or at a landfill site.

The last major landfill fire in Somerset took days to put out, while across the UK, people have died in fires that began in rubbish bins.

It is not just barbecue coals. Never add these danger items to your rubbish:

  • *    Hot ash or part-burned materials from domestic or garden fires or barbecues.
  • *    Used portable barbeques whose charcoal may not be completely cold.
  • *    Household or vehicle batteries that may short out or cause sparks.
  • *    Broken glass not carefully wrapped or bagged could act as a magnifying lens.
  • *    Aerosols may get hot or be pierced during the collection and landfill process.

The advice is simple in each case:

  • *    Let ash and portable barbecues completely cool, or fully damp down with water.
  • *    Recycle vehicle batteries through any one of Somerset’s 16 recycling sites.
  • *    Take household batteries to recycling sites or high street stores that collect them.
  • *    Carefully wrap and bag broken glass, which should also never go in recycling boxes.
  • *    Use up aerosols completely, do not squash, and then add them to recycling boxes.

A SWP spokesperson said: “It is simple to stay safe with rubbish and prevent fires. Fully damp down the barbecue and think through the risks so you do not put your loved ones in danger.”