ANYONE planning to have a barbecue this weekend is being reminded of the risks of leaving fires unattended.

Following four barbecue fires in the capital during last Sunday’s hot weather, the London Fire Brigade has issued an urgent barbecue blaze warning. 

Forecasters are expecting a heat wave to kick in this weekend with temperatures getting up towards 30 degrees, prompting fears that the number of barbecue blazes could jump.
 
The brigade said there were four fires in the space of two and a half hours last Sunday, all involving gas barbecues.
 
The London Fire Brigade’s head of operations, Dave Brown, said: "With the hot weather, as well as the Wimbledon final and Lions rugby match this weekend I’d imagine a few people will be planning barbecues. We’re concerned if people don’t take care there could be a spate of barbecue fires that could easily be prevented with a little common sense.
 
"Barbecues are fine as long as you take a few sensible steps, such as lighting them well away from anything that could catch fire and never leaving them unattended. It’s important to take care with gas barbecues too as gas can explode when exposed to heat.
 
"It’s also important to read the manufacturer’s instructions on your barbecue and check that all joints are tightened."
 
Last weekend saw barbecue blazes break out in Bromley, Beckenham, West Drayton, and Charlton. At the Bromley fire, a gas barbecue was being used on the balcony of a flat and at another incident, a 25 metre hazard zone was set up, due to fears the barbecue’s gas cylinders could explode.