Basic barbecue mistake that could land you a whopping £500 fine

A SIMPLE but little-known barbecue mistake could land you a whopping £500 fine.

Brits looking for a sunny barbecue session with friends this summer could be fined hundreds of pounds if they’re not careful.

Friends, gathered around a barbecue, cooking skewers of vegetables and sausages, hands, circle of friends.Credit: Getty

Around 240 accidental fires occur every year due to barbecues in England alone, reports the Romford Record.

To avoid such unfortunate accidents, there are specific wood fire and barbecue laws for different areas.

There are no rules against lighting a barbecue or bonfire, but you may get caught if they are deemed to cause a nuisance.

This could occur if they are considered a pollution or health hazard to others, such as their neighbors.

One scenario where this could be the case is if there is smoke crossing a street or if you are having a barbecue every night.

Fines of this type are applied by local government bodies.

Councils in the UK have what they call barbecue bylaws which detail regulations relating to barbecue fires.

According to the rule book issued by Islington council, holding a barbecue session in public that causes a “nuisance” could land you in a magistrates’ court along with a hefty fine.

Tips There may be designated areas for each locality where locals could go and host their barbecue sessions.

Participating in barbecue activities outside of these designated areas could be a violation of the law and you could be fined.

Other rules include finishing the barbecue before 9:00 pm to avoid disturbing the locals late at night.

People who breach such laws could receive a level two fine of £500.

They may also be asked to leave the area.

In the first instance, an authorized council officer may ask you to stop the barbecue activity before imposing a fine.

It is always best to check the council’s website to find the relevant laws and avoid being penalized.

It comes after a property expert revealed four barbecue mistakes anyone can make and receive fines worth thousands.

Kelly Whittington, property claims director at Aviva, told The Sun: “BBQs and fire pits are popular features in millions of UK gardens and can be a brilliant addition to social events.

“But they also carry risks and, if not carefully monitored, can quickly get out of control with potentially disastrous consequences.”

The four barbecue mistakes you should avoid

Leaving barbecues unattended: £6,000

Barbecues are often held at social gatherings and family events where it can be easy to get distracted.

But leaving one unattended for even a few seconds can cause a fire to quickly get out of control.

Aviva research found that the average cost of claims where unattended barbecues cause fires ranges between £2,000 and £6,000.

So if you’re not covered by home insurance, you may have to shell out thousands of pounds.

Storing your barbecue poorly: from £40 to £100

It may be tempting to leave the barbecue outside, but that can be tempting for thieves.

Again, if it wasn’t covered by insurance, this would mean having to fork out for the cost of the barbecue.

Instead, it is worth storing it in a garage or some other secure location, such as a locked shed.

Some policies only cover you if you can prove that you also locked up a garden item.

Know the rules – £5,000

If you are caught creating a public nuisance while having a barbecue, you could be fined up to £5,000.

Fines of this type are applied by the city council.

Kelly said: “It’s worth knowing that neighbors can report you if they think your fires are causing a nuisance, which could lead to a fine of up to £5,000.”

To avoid falling into this situation, Kelly suggested maintaining an open dialogue.

She said: “You might want to tell your neighbor about any barbecues, in case they’ve left their clothes in the washing machine.

“And be careful not to place the barbecue near fences or trees.

“We’ve seen cases where people have set fire to trees and fences in their neighbors’ yards.”

Remove waste carefully – £40

It may not be the most fun part of a barbecue, but disposing of embers or ashes the right way could save you a few pounds.

If you throw them in the trash before they have cooled, you could end up setting them on fire.

Not only will this mean having to replace the container, but it could have much greater consequences.