Are you a savvy sizzler or a botch-job burner? Tips for a safe BBQ.

John Woodhall

Wednesday 6th August 2014 – 9.30am – Claire Brown.

If you don’t want a paramedic as an unexpected guest at your next family barbecue, be a savvy sizzler not a botch-job burner this summer.

Sadly each year the ambulance service attends incidents where people have either been burnt from using a barbecue or chiminea or have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from inhaling noxious fumes.

John Woodhall, a paramedic and Team Leader for the Trust’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), said: “When you suffer a burn it actually takes layers of skin away. It can leave you open to infection, you can be left with life-long scars and in some cases burns can result in limb amputations and even death.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning is very difficult to diagnose. Carbon monoxide actually binds to your red blood cells. It stops your body taking up oxygen so essentially you actually suffocate.

“Carbon monoxide can build up even from a barbecue which appears as though it’s gone out, it can still be lit, and will give off harmful carbon monoxide for hours afterwards which is why we urge people to avoid harmful situations by not taking barbecues into tents or enclosed spaces.

“We want you to have a nice summer so to avoid one of us turning up at your barbecue, please be careful and take note of these simple tips:

  • Never use accelerants like petrol, to light your barbecue as its explosive and can burn you. Only use approved fuels.
  • Don’t use barbecues in enclosed spaces, like tents, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning which can be fatal if undetected early.
  • Watch out for children and animals when a barbecue is lit.
  • Always keep a bucket of water nearby just in case.”


Please watch this video of John talking about BBQ safety.

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