Although using a BBQ can be a fantastic way to serve up tasty food this summer, it can be dangerous if used in the wrong places.
There are several laws to be aware of to ensure that your plans run smoothly and that you aren’t hit with a BBQ-related fine.
Ian Hodgett, Barbecue Team Leader and Buyer at BBQ specialists, Hayes Garden World, has shared how homeowners can avoid being slapped with a weighty fine when using a BBQ this summer.
Barbecuing near a main road
Ian explained: “Do not have a BBQ near a main road as the smoke could drift across the road, blocking drivers’ visibility. You could be issued with a Nuisance Abatement notice, served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Failure to comply with the notice can result in prosecution in court and a fine of up to £5,000.
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“You should therefore take great consideration when choosing where to place your BBQ.
“It’s also best to avoid placing your BBQ near benches, trees and sheds in your garden where there is a higher risk of a fire spreading.”
Barbecuing on a balcony
“Whilst it’s not against the law to hold a BBQ on your balcony, I would strongly advise against this,” he said. “It’s important to remember that many balconies are often made of combustible materials so pose a real threat to the safety of those BBQing and those living around them.
“If you live in a flat, building management has the right to prohibit the use of BBQs on balconies to ensure the safety of all residents. If found BBQing on your balcony, you may be in breach of your rental agreement and could face paying for damages, deductions from your deposit or even eviction.”
Barbecuing on National Trust land
“In the vast majority of cases, you should not have a BBQ on land owned by the National Trust because the countryside can become very dry during the spring and summer months, creating the perfect conditions for fires to ignite and quickly spread,” Ian revealed.
“There are a very small number of designated BBQ areas on the land that they own, such as on concrete surfaces where the risk of fire is low. However, they advise that this should not be used during periods where there is a significant risk of fire.”
“Check whether your local council has issued a Public Spaces Protection Order which bans the use of a BBQ on National Trust Land.
“Kirklees Council charges a fixed penalty notice of £150 if you’re found BBQing on National Trust land. Failure to pay this could lead to a conviction from the court and a maximum fine of £1,000.”
Barbecuing in a park
“Be sure to check out council regulations on using a BBQ in your local park as these tend to vary,” Ian added. “The majority of parks across the country allow the use of a disposable BBQ, providing that you use a designated BBQ area and take precautions to avoid the risk of fire.
“However, there are areas of the UK, such as several boroughs in London, prohibiting the use of BBQs in local parks. For instance, you may face a fine of £100 if found BBQing in parks located in Brent.
“In parks which permit the use of a BBQ, be sure to leave no trace of your disposable BBQ and any food waste, disposable plates or cutlery as this is considered as littering. You could face a fine of up to £2,500 or a fixed penalty notice, which local authorities have the power to set. If not set, the standard fine you should expect to receive is £75.”
Barbecuing on the beach
“Many local councils are implementing Public Spaces Protection Orders which ban the use of BBQs on beaches, Fylde local council being one of them,” the expert said.
“Failure to comply with the order in Fylde will result in a fixed penalty notice of £50 or you could be prosecuted in a magistrates’ court for a criminal offence and be fined up to £1,000.”