Warning over barbecues and fires at beaches and beauty spots

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents and visitors to act responsibly and think of others when using barbecues in public places.

In recent months, crews from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have been called to fires on beaches and protected dunes. There has also been an increase in reports of warm disposable barbecues being left unattended.

In support of Cornwall Council’s Respect, Protect and Enjoy campaign, the fire service is asking people to follow the barbecue safety tips below.

Watch Manager Scott Brown, of Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We know people want to have a good time but we ask that you do this responsibly. If you are having barbecues, please stay safe and think about how your actions will affect others.

“Remember you should always make sure you have permission from the landowner first and keep a bucket of sand or water nearby in case of emergencies. We also ask that you take all your rubbish home or dispose of it safely and responsibly.”

Disposable barbecues take several hours to cool down. Make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it or putting it in a bin.

The fire service is urging people not to have fires in public places, especially beaches.

Mr Brown added: “Outdoor fires can quickly become out of control and spread. Every year we are called to incidents that could have easily been prevented.

“Fires on beaches can spread to dunes and items, such as screws, nails and metal fixings from timber, are often left behind and can cause serious injuries to other people, especially children.

“We ask that you think of others and do not take the risk.”

If you are planning a bonfire or your own property, please alert the fire service in advance follow the advice on the Cornwall Fire and Rescue website.

Barbecue safety tips

  • The BBQ should be correctly set up on an appropriate stand or non-flammable flat surface away from anything that can catch fire
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals
  • Never use a barbecue indoors or in a tent
  • Always keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended
  • If you are planning a barbecue in a public place, ensure you are allowed to do so at that location
  • When having a barbecue, consider how the smoke will affect others
  • Keep children, pets and beach games away from the cooking area
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it
  • Do not dispose of the barbecue until completely extinguished and cold, using water or sand. Hot discarded barbecues can melt plastic bins and start fires
  • Never bury a barbecue in the sand. Hot metal grill plates, embers and hot sand can cause serious injury

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