Safe and Responsible Use of Instant Barbecues…

…at Summer Festivals in the UK.

As the summer festival season rolls in, with events like Glastonbury, Reading, and Leeds drawing massive crowds, the joy of outdoor cooking often accompanies the excitement. Instant barbecues are a popular choice for many festival-goers due to their convenience and affordability. However, using them safely and responsibly is crucial to ensure a great time without compromising on safety or the environment. Here’s a guide to help you enjoy your instant barbecue while being mindful of your surroundings.

1. Choosing the Right Spot

When setting up your instant barbecue, location is key:

  • Avoid Tents and Flammable Materials: Always place your barbecue on a flat, stable surface away from tents, sleeping bags, and anything else that can catch fire easily.
  • Don’t use inside a tent or campervan: Carbon monoxide KILLS – Alway use/cook outside with full ventilation. Don’t use as a heater etc even when you have finished cooking.
  • Mind the Wind: Wind can blow flames or hot coals into flammable areas. Choose a sheltered spot to minimize this risk.
  • Respect Designated Areas: Many festivals have specific zones for barbecuing. Stick to these areas to reduce fire hazards and ensure safety for all attendees.

2. Preparing and Lighting the Barbecue

Proper preparation can prevent accidents:

  • Read Instructions: Before lighting your barbecue, carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Use Approved Fuel: Only use the fuel provided with the disposable barbecue. Adding extra lighter fluid or other accelerants can be dangerous.
  • Safe Ignition: Use long matches or a long-reach lighter to ignite the barbecue to keep your hands a safe distance from the flames.

3. Cooking Safely

While cooking, keep these tips in mind:

  • Never Leave Unattended: Always supervise your barbecue. This is especially important in crowded festival environments, you don’t want someone to accidentally stand on one.
  • Keep Water Nearby: Have a bottle of water or a fire extinguisher on hand to quickly douse any unexpected flames & extinguish when cooking has finished.
  • Cook Evenly: Make sure your food is cooked evenly to avoid foodborne illnesses. Undercooked food can be a common issue with disposable barbecues.

4. Disposing of the Barbecue

Proper disposal is crucial for safety and environmental protection:

  • Cool Down First: Use a bottle of water to extinguish when you finish cooking. Let the barbecue cool down completely before attempting to move or dispose of it.
  • Designated Bins: Use the designated metal bins for disposal, which are often provided at festival sites. Never throw a hot barbecue into a general waste bin.
  • Minimize Waste: If possible, consider reusable or eco-friendly barbecue options to reduce waste.

5. Environmental Considerations

Be mindful of your impact on the environment:

  • Leave No Trace: Festivals like Glastonbury emphasize a “leave no trace” policy. Take all your rubbish with you and clean up your cooking area.
  • Recycling: If your festival has recycling facilities, make use of them. Some parts of the instant barbecue may be recyclable.
  • Eco-Friendly Choices: Consider biodegradable or more sustainable barbecue options. Some brands offer eco-friendly reusable disposables made from sustainable materials.

6. Safety Tips Recap

  • Always set up away from tents and flammable materials.
  • Choose a stable, wind-sheltered spot.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Supervise the barbecue at all times.
  • Keep a bottle of water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Dispose of the barbecue responsibly in designated bins.

Final Thoughts

Enjoying a an instant barbecue at a summer festival can enhance your experience, providing a communal and fun way to share meals with friends. By following these safety and environmental tips, you ensure that your barbecue is not only enjoyable but also responsible and safe for everyone around you. Let’s make this festival season memorable for all the right reasons!