Barbecues, Camping and Caravanning

We like to get out and about when the sun is shining and enjoy a variety of activities. This section looks at how to keep safe whilst making the most of the summer months.

Camping and Caravanning Safety

When enjoying a fun family holiday under canvas, don't let down your guard when it comes to fire safety. See our advice below for tips on how to help keep you and your family safe.

  • To reduce the risk of fire spreading, ensure caravans and tents are at least six metres apart and away from parked cars.
  • Make sure you know the campsite's fire safety arrangements and check where the nearest telephone is. You may not have a signal on your mobile phone.
  • Keep a torch handy for emergencies – never use lighted candles.
  • NEVER smoke or use barbecues inside a tent.
  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan – optical alarms are usually the most effective.
  • Don't block caravan air vents—if leaking gas builds up, you may fall unconscious and be unable to escape.
  • Turn off all appliances before you leave the caravan or go to bed.

In the event of a fire, we advise you to:

  • Keep calm and get everyone out as quickly as you can.
  • Be prepared to cut your way out of your tent if there is a fire. Call the fire and rescue service and give the exact location.
  • Give a map reference if possible, or give a landmark such as a farm or pub.

Barbecue Safety

When using a barbecue or fire pit:

  • Make sure your barbecue/fire pit is well away from buildings, sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels on cold coals.
  • Don't leave a barbecue unattended. Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors – this includes in a tent or caravan. There is a risk of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they're hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don't drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.

When using gas barbecues and stoves:

  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.
  • Never store gas cylinders under the stairs – if there is a fire, they might explode and block your escape route.
  • Take care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off.
  • Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue/stove control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • Only change when the cylinder is completely empty.
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. If you suspect a leak, switch it off and do not use it.

Download the Gas Safe Register's BBQ Safety leaflet below: