Warning issued over disposable barbecues as temperature soars

Residents and visitors are being asked not to bring disposable barbecues to Southend's beaches, parks and open spaces as the temperature continues to soar over the coming days.

Close up of hot coals

Disposable barbecues are dangerous if they are not put out properly, causing grass fires in open spaces and scorching the grassed areas.

Most dangerously they can and have led to people getting severe burns on our beaches where the heat from the barbecue is retained in the sand sitting underneath the metal tray. Sometimes this heat can be retained for many hours after a barbeque has been put out.

As the weather sizzles, and the safety risks heighten, residents and visitors are being asked the leave the barbecues at home.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture and tourism, said: “Disposable barbecues are no laughing matter and carry risks at any time but in  the current heatwave, there is the even greater risk of fire or injuries caused to people.

“By all means, enjoy the beach and a dip in the sea but for everyone’s safety, please leave the barbecues at home. There are plenty of restaurants and takeaways offering a variety of delicious food along the seafront, with options to suit different budgets.

“There’s really no need to take the risk and bring a disposable barbecue which could hurt you, a member of your family or someone else, so whilst we consider the process around whether we want to allow them at all, please leave them on the supermarket shelves.”

With heat health alerts being issued too, please also follow health advice, and keep an eye on older people, children and animals, who are more likely to suffer in the heat and especially those with existing health conditions. Make sure you stay with them and do not leave animals in locked cars.

You can try and stay cool by:

  • Staying hydrated – drink lots of water and avoid alcohol
  • Staying cool indoors – close the curtains in rooms which face the sun
  • If going outside, try and stay in the shade
  • Wear high factor sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when it is at its hottest
  • Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  • If you go in the sea to cool down, please be safe in the water and follow local safety advice including checking local tide times, which can be found here: Southend-On-Sea Tide Times | Tide Times

For more information, visit: Heatwave: how to cope in hot weather - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Published: 15th July 2022

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