Back to blog home

Fire-up the BBQ, not your house!

Fire-up the BBQ, not your house!

Fire-up the BBQ, not your house

Better weather has finally arrived and barbeque season is upon us. But, unfortunately, statistics show it’s not just charcoal under BBQ grills that householders set alight during the warmer months!

Open fires and gardens can be a lethal combination, especially when lighter fluid and plenty of partying are thrown into the mix, latest statistics reveal.


Warmer days mean more garden fires

Analysis by insurer Policy Expert shows that there is a clear correlation between warmer days and the number of times the Fire Brigade is called out to attend garden fires.

Looking at the figures for London last year, more than half the incidents the capital’s Fire Brigade dealt with took place over just four months.


Hotter weather spells trouble

Between April and July, 2017, there were 1,185 reported cases of garden fires, with BBQs and fire-pits the main culprits.

April, June and July saw the most calls made to the London Fire Brigade. Within these months there were days when the temperature rose to the sort of levels where many Brits just love to cook and booze it up outside.

On the 9th of April the temperature hit 25 degrees Celsius, unusually high for the month, and it coincided with 18 recorded garden fires, the most on any given day in 2017.


June and July fires peaked

Next on the list is June 23rd, with 12 reported garden fires. On that day the thermometer rose to a very comfortable 23 degrees, perfect BBQ weather.

July the 9th comes third with 10 fires. Again, the weather was great for being outdoors, when fire-pits would have been lit later in the day and a lot of wine and beer consumed.

Overall, June saw most garden fires occurring in London, with around 170 incidents and July nearly had as many.


Damp squib August saw fires dip

But August, despite traditionally marking ‘high summer’ and the school holidays, saw a considerably lower number of fires.

However, it was much wetter than usual last year and not particularly warm; certainly not ‘typical’ BBQ weather.


Wealthier boroughs suffer less

The London-focused stats reveal that households in the outer-lying boroughs of Croydon, Enfield and Hounslow experienced the most garden fires.

The relatively wealthy enclaves of Islington, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea saw the fewest.


Tips for safer barbequing

What the analysis clearly indicates is that great care needs to be taken in situations where dry, warm weather conditions are mixed with open flames and people who might be enjoying themselves a little too much in outdoor spaces.

Commenting on the analysis, Adam Powell, Head of Operations, pointed out that “While it’s easy to get distracted when enjoying a barbeque or cosying around a fire-pit, it’s important to make sure you’re taking necessary precautions.”

Fire damage is also one of the main reasons for householders making claims on their home insurance, and Powell adds that most such claims “are avoidable if you take simple steps. Keep barbeques away from your home, sheds, trees and garden furniture and if you have a fire-pit, make sure it’s completely extinguished before leaving it unattended.”



Policy Expert

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 8th May 2018