Why a barbecue could cost you thousands

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BBQSunshine brings out the barbecues, but the resultant fires create countless insurance claims!

We've had something of a heat wave in the final two weeks of May, with glorious sunshine sending temperatures soaring towards 30°C.

Although barbecues are a cornerstone of the British summer, they can hit us hard in the pocket. As well as the cost of the grill, charcoal briquettes and firelighters (or gas canisters), there's also the expense of buying meat, fish, vegetables and various accompaniments.


What's more, barbecues can be something of a financial hazard, too. In fact, according to a new survey from insurer MORE TH>N, boozy barbies have caused around £617 million in fire damage to UK homes!

Booze, BBQs and blazes
To find out more about our barbecuing habits, MORE TH>N and pollsters OnePoll interviewed 2,000 British drinkers in April. This survey found that, as a result of a drunken BBQ incident, 115 people (5.75% of the total) had caused fire damage costing an average of more than £412 each.

Rolled out across the UK's 26 million households, this means that over £617 million of fire damage has been caused by "Britain's boozy grillers". Overall, nearly 1.5 million households have made a home insurance claim for barbecue-related fire damage in the past two years.
With the barbecue season now in full swing, MORE TH>N warns that this summer could see as many as 904,000 BBQ fires, leading to a surge in fire-related claims on buildings and contents policies.

A sizzling summer of sport
Of course, many Brits need little encouragement to break out the barbie and beers. At the first sign of sunshine, millions of us get grilling and sizzling. Alas, MORE TH>N reckons that one in four grillers (25%) is drunk every time the flames are fired up.

As well as being a health hazard, this can also be a very costly financial blunder. Many modern gardens are packed with valuable, yet flammable, items.

With a big summer of sport, coupled with the extra bank holiday for the Diamond Jubilee, there are going to be plenty of excuses for cracking open a bottle alongside a barbecue.

That's why MORE TH>N has warned barbecue enthusiasts across the UK to beware of 'inebriated infernos' for the next three months. With four-fifths (80%) of BBQ chefs being male, this is a big problem for Britain's dads and lads. Nevertheless, women grillers cause more damage (£525 each) than males (£383).

Top tips for a safer barbecue
With a sizzling summer ahead of us, follow this safety advice whether you're a newbie barbecue chef and veteran griller.
  • Never barbecue when drunk. Even if you don't set your garden alight, your impaired judgment could lead to food poisoning from undercooked meat, or nasty burns to your exposed skin.
  • Watch out for wooden hazards. Keep your barbecue well away from sheds, fences and trees.
  • Never use petrol or other accelerants to ignite a barbecue. Stick to firelighters and coals (or spark-lit gas flames).
  • Disposable barbecues are fires waiting to happen. Always place them on non-flammable surfaces and completely extinguish them before disposal.
  • Brave the smoke: never leave a barbecue unattended while in use.
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