Families are being warned to stay safe if using barbecues this summer.
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is asking members of the public to take care when cooking al fresco as part of a national fire safety campaign.
Paul Hedley, the service’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “It’s natural to want to go outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends — many of us can’t wait to get the barbecue lit.
“We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand, but please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.
“And if you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent — doing so can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.”
Firefighters say never leave a lit barbecue unattended; never use a barbecue indoors; follow the safety instructions when using disposable barbecues; make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste; keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area; never use combustible liquids on a barbecue; empty ashes onto bare garden soil; and always keep a bucket of water or sand nearby.
Coun John Riddle, cabinet member with responsibility for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Safety is paramount and we encourage our residents and visitors to take note of the safety advice while still making the most of the good weather.”