‘Has It BIN long enough?’ is the question West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is asking residents this summer in an effort to reduce the number of fires started by hot barbecues put in bins.
Each summer the fire service attends numerous fires which were started by disposable barbecues being thrown away before they had fully cooled down.
Last year firefighters responded to an incident in Worthing where a litter truck was destroyed by fire after collecting waste bins from Goring Greensward.
A disposable barbecue, which had not cooled down, was left beside a rubbish bin before being collected by Adur and Worthing Councils. The barbecue then ignited and started a huge blaze. This fire resulted in a cost of around £30,000 to replace the truck.
To reduce the number of disposable barbecue related bin fires, the fire service has teamed up with West Sussex Recycles to urge people to consider ‘Has it BIN long enough?’. The services are encouraging members of the public to consider these three steps when planning a barbecue:
• Sizzle: Don’t underestimate the heat of your barbecue as temperatures soar when cooking!
• Sit: Leave your barbecue to cool down for several hours.
• Soak: Cover your barbecue with plenty of water and remember: if it sizzles – it’s still too hot to be binned!
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “As well as the inconvenience and financial implications we see as a result of bin fires, the entire contents of the bin then has to go to waste as it cannot be safely recycled.
“It is really important, now more than ever, that we reduce our waste, and recycle where possible, but given the volume of disposable barbecue-related bin fires we see each year, this is a huge environmental concern and is something we should all strive to improve.”
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Head of Prevention, Nicki Peddle said: “During the summer we want everyone to enjoy the warmer days and barbecues can be a great way to make the most of the sunshine. However, it’s vital that people think ahead when having a disposable barbecue and make sure they’re incorporating the length of time a barbecue takes to cool down within their plans.
“It’s a common misconception that just putting water on a disposable barbecue is enough to cool it right down, and it’s an issue we see each year. Therefore, we’re urging people to follow our three steps – which include leaving the barbecue to cool down for several hours, as well as dousing it in water – to allow for a safe summer and to keep our firefighters available to respond to life-saving emergencies.”