London Fire Brigade reported last week being its busiest ever, attending to over 1,000 incidents.
As the weather brought unprecedented high temperatures, the chances of grassland fires increased. The careless use and improper disposal of barbecues added an unnecessary risk, and was the cause of what could have been a serious blaze at Wanstead Flats in east London were it not for firefighters’ intervention.
London’s Fire Commissioner Andy Roe is calling for a national ban of disposable barbecues, which “can be bought for as little as £5 and can cause untold damage, especially when the grass is as dry as it has been over the last few weeks”.
Waitrose and Aldi are among retailers to have already taken steps they deem necessary by choosing to stop selling disposable barbecues, but their availability remains widespread.
Firefighters recommend not having barbecues on balconies, parks and public spaces, but a ban on the sale of disposable barbecues would take away the risk altogether.
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