BBQ Week reveals worrying figures

31 May 2006
This week is National Barbeque Week, a classic symbol of the British summer. However, figures released by Halifax Home Insurance suggest that Britons are being rather reckless in allowing their home fires to burn.

Around 1.7 million Britons have used petrol in order to light their barbeque, with a further 1.2 million having used highly combustible and explosive aerosols to get the coals burning.

Over 600,000 have also used perfume to light the grill, highlighting just how little the average British DIY barbeque chef is aware of the risks posed.

Last year, barbeque accidents caused almost £300 million of damage to homes and gardens in Britain, according to Halifax, and this has prompted calls from the bank's home insurance wing for renewed care with outdoor grills.

"Millions of Britons risk the health and safety of themselves and their guests by using potentially lethal accelerants to light barbeques," said Vicky Emmott, senior underwriter for the Halifax Home Insurance.

"Using petrol or white spirits to light a barbeque is extremely dangerous and could easily result in a fire that is uncontrollable," she continued.

"It is vital that people who wish to press ahead with hosting barbeques do not resort to lighting them with combustible or explosive materials."

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