A quarter of people in charge of a barbecue have been drunk while doing so and a staggering 1.5 million homes have been damaged as a result, according new research.
A report compiled by More Than Home Insurance raises concerns over safety as the risk rises with a hot summer and long bank holiday weekends ahead, when families are likely to host barbecue parties, fuelled by alcohol.
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Which? barbecue expert Jess O’Leary says: ‘The promise of al fresco dining on summer evenings can make it tempting to start celebrating with your favourite tipple early-on in the day. It’s easy to forget that barbecuing involves exposing yourself and others to hot coals, sizzling grills and open flames.
‘Make sure your barbecue is sturdy to cook on and isn’t likely to topple over if it’s knocked or kicked. Always set it up on a level, hard surface – such as a patio – and make sure it’s well-shielded from strong gusts of wind that could fan flames and spread ash. Take extra care if you’re cooking on a table-top or portable grill, and make sure children and pets are supervised.’
BBQ risks and costs
An overwhelming 80% of drunk barbecuing incidences were caused by men, with the average cost of damage being £383. Although women are less likely to cause such problems, the cost of damage tends to be higher, at around £525.
With sheds, gazebos and trees acting as prime kindle, garden fires can easily get out of hand. But as well as damage to property, the possibility of personal injury to those in charge of a barbecue or guest are greatly increased when drunk.
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Which? BBQ safety testing
Which? experts consider the safety of a barbecue paramount when testing barbecues to find Best Buy models.
Scrutinising at the sturdiness of each barbecue including its weight and ease of handling, our experts assess the likelihood of someone being able to knock it over, and check whether the design of the legs, feet and shelves of each could be potential tripping hazards.