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Bank Holiday Barbeque

Where there’s smoke; there’s an insurance claim.

Before you reach for the tongs next time the sun comes out, bear in mind the humble barbeque is the cause of a large  number of insurance claims, says the Family Building Society.

The best of our memories of summer days almost always contain food and drink with friends and family. More often than not those memories are around a barbeque somewhere. Image of a man at a BBQ

We all love a barbeque but this beautiful combination of meat and fire is not only a great source of fun and laughter – but also a disproportionate number of insurance claims.

Happily, the family Building Society’s partners at Ageas have some advice to help keep us all safe and sound and not making a panicked call to our insurers.

Firstly, and it sounds obvious but common sense preparations are the most likely to avert potential disaster.
The Fire Service’s general advice about barbeques is echoed by insurance companies nationwide.
• Make sure your barbecue is in good working order.
• Ensure the barbecue is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs.
• Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
• Never leave the barbecue unattended.
• Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
• Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it.
• Only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbeque
• Only use approved firelighters – never, ever use petrol or diesel.
• Never put hot ashes into a dustbin
• If it is a gas barbeque make sure you change bottles outdoors
• Don’t use any gas bottle you are unsure of.

So far so good - the fire is lit, the drinks are chilling and you are ready to begin. Ageas has more advice for the unwary as you do of course want to make the best evening for your guests.

• Light the barbeque well in advance of the arrival of your guests. Good quality charcoal will last an hour.
• Use basic ingredients – very tasty especially when it comes to vegetables – but don’t forget to wash them if you aren’t peeling them.
• Stay with your barbeque – not only is this best for safety but barbequing is theatre, you want to be there to impress the guests with your skills.
• Be organised around the barbeque – you will cook more efficiently and run less risk of an accident.
• Test for ‘doneness’ With a small sharp knife cut into the centre of the meat – down to the bone if there is one – and check the meat juices are running clear.

Happy barbequing.

Steve McDowell

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Family Building Society
Ebbisham House
30 Church Street
Surrey KT17 4NL
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