Can you BBQ in a heatwave? Is there a ban on lighting a BBQ during August 2022 hot weather - advice explained

Fire Services are asking members of the public to refrain from using disposable BBQs during the hot weather

The UK is once again sweltering under yet another heatwave this summer.

Temperatures are expected to reach 35C, whilst the Met Office have issued a level three heat-health warning due to the prolonged high temperatures.

In July, the UK experienced its hottest weather since records began, with temperatures soaring to 41C.

Many people like to enjoy hot summer weather by having a BBQ with friends and family.

However, with drought declared across England and rainfall down 26% on average can you use a BBQ during the August heatwave?

Here’s everything you need to know.

A group of friends enjoy a barbecue in Windsor, England (Pic: Getty Images)

Can you have a BBQ during the August heatwave?

Fire services across the UK have issued warnings to people who want to have BBQs during the hot weather.

They are recommending that BBQs are only used in a “suitable and safe”, calling anyone who uses a BBQ on dry grass “reckless”.

They have asked members of the public to never leave a BBQ unattended and to ensure the fire has been put out completely after use.

BBQs should not be lit in open countryside, sand dunes or woodland.

There is a real risk of wildfires in the UK due to the extreme, prolonged high temperatures that the region has been experiencing.

Eight areas of England have been declared to be in a drought, with many areas of grass left parched.

France is currently battling a wave of wildfires in its south west region, which have burnt more than 6,500 hectares.

Is there a ban on lighting BBQs?

Due to the heatwave some councils across England have imposed bans on disposable BBQs.

They have been banned by Birmingham City and Nottingham City councils, after fire and rescue services had to deal with a number of fires caused by them in the last month.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has called for disposable BBQs to be banned altogether, citing the cost of tackling a recent fire which reached £250,000.

Some supermarket chains have banned disposable BBQs from their stores including Marks and Spencer, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Waitrose and Co-Op.

Sainsbury’s has withdrawn disposable BBQs as a “precautionary measure”, whilst Tesco have also withdrawn their sale from 11 August.

An online petition to ban disposable BBQs in environmentally vulnerable areas has already gathered over 20,000 signatures.

Disposable BBQ’s will not be sold in several UK supermarkets (Photo: Adobe)

What is the latest advice?

Fire Services based in areas impacted by the drought have given advice to the public on how to safely use a BBQ during the August heatwave.

London Fire Brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Charlie Pugsley, said: “We want people to enjoy the glorious weather and do so safely.

“Barbecuing on dry grass is reckless and can easily cause a really serious fire – damaging the immediate area and risking nearby properties.

“We’re also urging people to think twice about having barbecues on balconies. It’s easier than you might think for a balcony fire to spread to others, which could not only leave you homeless but displace hundreds of your neighbours too.

“We’re not trying to take the fun out of the heatwave, but for the sake of our city – and of our firefighters who have to work in sweltering temperatures to tackle these blazes – we’d really like people to take our advice on board. We’re asking the public to remain vigilant and call 999 as soon as they see any signs of smouldering grass.”

Whereas other services have asked residents to completely refrain from using disposable BBQs.

Haywards Heath Fire Station in Sussex said on Twitter: “Extreme heat weather warning for the next few days. Please refrain from using disposable BBQ’s and having bonfires. Please do your bit to help Fire Services across the Country. Crews have attended a number of fires this week which could of been avoided with extra care.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service shared a video On Twitter showing the aftermath of a fire, urging people to “leave the portable BBQ at home”.