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Should disposable barbecues be banned?

Following one of the most devastating forest and heath fires in Dorset in living memory many people are calling for disposable barbecues to be banned.

The blaze that started at Wareham Forest on 18th May burned for over six days and destroyed more than 220 hectares of forest and healthland.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, whose crews from all 50 fire stations from across the service battled with the blaze which they say was started through ‘social activity’ – discarded barbecues, campfires and glass bottles were found at the site.

Forestry England who manage Wareham Forest say:

“It’s heartbreaking to see the damage this fire caused and a devastating blow to our staff that care for this forest.

It will take many decades to restore and regrow this area. It’s especially damaging to the rare birds, plants, reptiles, and invertebrates that usually thrive here.”

Dorset locals are calling for disposable barbecues to be banned due to the potential fire risk and litter they cause but why are disposable barbecues so potentially dangerous to our rural beauty spots?

Additional risks with disposable barbecues

There are risks with using any charcoal barbecue but there are additional risks to using disposable barbecues:

  • As they are portable, they may be used in unsuitable locations such as under trees or near long grass, bushes or fences which may easily catch fire
  • The bottom of the barbecue is foil and can get extremely hot, so there is potential to damage the ground underneath
  • They can easily tip over
  • They may take several hours to cool down and so are often left whilst still hot
  • If they are placed in a bin before they are completely cool they may set the bin or rubbish bag alight.
  • Barbecues produce carbon monoxide which is toxic and using them in a non-ventilated area can be fatal.

What are your views? Have you ever used a disposable barbecue? Would you take one with you on a picnic? Do you believe them to be dangerous enough to be banned?

Should disposable barbecues be banned?

2063 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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SueC62
20th Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I can't see what difference it will make. The type of person who would take one on to moors, place it directly on grass and not extinguish it properly will fashion a home made one. Any type of bbq or fire should be banned in rural areas unless set up in a specially designated area.
Felix1
10th Jun 2020
0
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It is such a great pity that there are so many individuals who give no thought to the health and wellbeing of others and the environment.
Llynfi
5th Jun 2020
2
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The smell of them are awful too. Not at all appetising. In the lovely Forest of Dean left behind are bottles , cans dirty nappies, as well as the disposable bbq’s A Forester said , she would hate to see in their homes. Being neat, tidy & thoughtful is inborn. I agree
Lionel
7th Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Llynfi, I completely understand.

Last year, while driving home through Thetford Forest with a new Collie pup we stopped off in a truck lay-by. Took my older Collie dog into the Forest to stretch his legs. One hundred yards into the Forest and what met me was utterly appalling. A sea of filthy rubbish!

Human faeces in many places, acres of pop bottles and cans, countless condoms and used tampons. But the number of soiled paper nappies shook me. The forest floor, in places, was piled high with them. It all stank! Human filth.

My dog and I beat a hasty retreat and a mile or so further on we found a cleaner place off the main road.

As one who's spent most of his life in the country living and working I may only say, the majority of people on this island do not deserve what they have.

Little wonder I'm always banging on to urban folk, 'go home, stay out of the country. It doesn't need you to mess it up anymore.'
Felix1
10th Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
These people have the same behaviour everywhere. I was appalled to see the same behaviour on a plane coming back from Tenerife in January. A young woman changed her babies nappy on the seat in front. Some contents of the nappy fell on the floor and the older woman with her , presumably her mother, tried grinding it into the carpet with her foot. The smell was atrocious. I was appalled. There were food wrappers on the floor. Disgraceful.
crazyknitter996
5th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
They are a danger. I'd rather have a great old fashioned picnic.
AlysonV
5th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I live in an area which has just had acres of woodland devastated by fire caused by a disposable barbecue. I also have woodland at the rear of my property and last year my husband was treated to a torrent of abuse when he confronted a couple using a bbq at the foot of a tree, they eventually agreed to put it out and poured water on it. Low and behold half an hour later we had to go up and tend to it ourselves as unattended it had started to smoulder again!! They are in a very robust foil tray and unfortunately the water seeped through holes that were in the bottom of the tray and some embers were still left alight. I hate to think what would have happened if we hadn’t been out in our garden that day!
Soozie63
5th Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Already had fires in my area due to these disposable BBQ’s! Bad enough all the litter people are leaving everywhere but to leave hot BBQ’s on dry grass and wooden picnic tables is just unbelievable! They are already banned in parks etc., but people just ignore the rules so yes ban them completely along with chinese lanterns and helium balloons!
GillC86
3rd Jun 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
When you live in an area, which we do) that has had several fires and seen the devastation they cause to wildlfe, including ground nesting birds and the destruction of trees and gorse etc. you will understand why they should be banned. Unfortunately we do not live in a country where everyone is sensible and thoughtful, most people don't even take home their litter!!
Lionel
3rd Jun 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Gill, we live in the prairie lands of East Anglia; fields interspersed with patches of woodland. On three sides of our garden are fields of winter cereals.

In the past we've had miscreants setting fire to woodland or dropping cigarette ends near ripening cereals. The field behind me is 120 acres of winter barley. If that was set afire the farmer would lose around £75,000, (uninsurable) several people would lose their homes and cars as well as the certain deaths of much of our revived and burgeoning wildlife. We've spent many years cultivating our wild life.

If one field fires then many more will too. The loss to farmers, locals and wildlife would be utterly tragic.

None of our current penalties are severe enough to deter arsonists and careless youths. I assure you, my deterrents would be remembered for rest of their lives!
Jim72
3rd Jun 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
These portable bbq's are safe when used by sensible people in their own gardens, they should not be allowed anywhere else. My blood boils when I see the footage of our beautiful countryside on fire.
Mellstock
3rd Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
If these are banned, people will only find another way round it.

People use BBQs because they are too lazy to make a good old fashioned picnic.

More TV programmes about how to make a good easy picnic - specially for the the ignorant people who have no idea about how to enjoy a lovely summer’s day out in the country.

More advertising to highlight the dangers of portable bbqs, smoking and fires outside. They are putting other people’s lives at risk, penalties should be incurred.

Wardens to patrol popular areas.
Nellbat
2nd Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
When I read this I felt like saying, "Behave like Children, you will be treated like Children". Children wouldn't be allowed to use BBQ's in beautiful countryside when there is a high risk of fires through dry conditions. Stop people destroying our beautiful countryside, and the lives of our wildlife.
CheritonB
2nd Jun 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I live in Devon, and since the lockdown has been lifted, there have been incidences of these things being left both on Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor actually still alight, this despite all the warnings from the local authorities, police and fire brigades that the moors are tinder dry and ready to combust at a moment's notice. If people want to have a BBQ, they should do it in their own back garden, or local park, not in highly sensitive areas such as moor and heathland. If you cannot respect an area enough to not bring something like that with you, then just stay away.
MaggieP8
2nd Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I was thinking that myself.
MargaretM66
2nd Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I have lived in the New Forest for 30 years and dread summers here. The Forest heals itself with the help of communities and the district council - only to be spoiled again. We love the forest, but also fear for its future. Barbecues and campfires should be banned.
MylesB
2nd Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
A method to stop ignorant people causing destruction and leaving their discarded debris about? Education won’t help! Threats will be understood!
A suggested beginning. Make them think of the consequences to THEM!
A software program needs to be written... IT IS WORTH THE PRICE AND SMALL EFFORT.
Then, before a purchase of these products is completed an agreement should also be completed. This could be done on the purchaser’s mobile by a quick scan and reference code. Numbered operating and safety instructions should be clicked on to agree to abide by under strict penalties ranging from substantial fines to imprisonment.
Regardless of the extra cost entailed - the item being purchased should have a traceable chip installed which would need to be clicked on when and where the object is discarded safely. The sale should not be completed until this is agreed by clicking OK!
storey49
2nd Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
In my opinion they are pointless, they are dangerous and people who use them are often unaware of the consequences of lighting one.
WendieW
2nd Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
It is something that has to be done. disregard for our beauty spots makes this the only sensible thing to do.
HappyHippie
2nd Jun 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I live in Devon and we have just had a rageing fire not far from us,on Dartmoor it took 3 days to put out, the emergency servises had to block all the roads while they fought the fire night and day, it was caused by a disposable B-B-Q. people take them to beauty spots have their fun then just leave them, mostly I have to say are townies who just don'r realise the danger of just one spark on grassland that has been dry for weeks, I think its time they were banned, take picnics for days out.. have B-B-Qs at home
JamesS3
2nd Jun 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
The irrisponsible people who use these barbeques and leave them on beaches and in the country should also be banned from these places as they are also a hazard
JanB18
2nd Jun 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
It's a great shame, but once again something has been abused by inconsiderate people and now we need to ban them to stop idiots playing with fire.
RogerW2
2nd Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
As Silversurfers I feel sure that many of you will remember the old saying It’s not the car that kills, its the driver. Same with the bbq.
JohnL85
2nd Jun 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
barbecues are for gardens not out in the wide out doors
The_bees_knees
2nd Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
.....And do you know John.....I am sure they would be extinguished with great care ...on their OWN property!
Annette333
2nd Jun 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
As with many things....... Sadly a minority of the users of these cannot be trusted - therefore the privilege need to be taken away.
ChristineM294
2nd Jun 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
They are a menace to our countryside and parks.
olivep
2nd Jun 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
How right you are ……...
Poppyrose
2nd Jun 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Ban these disposable bbq's in public areas but for private use in the garden fine. It should be law and a hefty fine for the entire group if people get caught breaking the law. We have seen levels of stupidity and bad behaviour in Dorset recently with these things causing devastating fires, rubbish discarded everywhere and trampling over private farmland so there needs to be a campaign reiterating how people should behave because good behaviour seems to have gone out of the window.
Lionel
1st Jun 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Another outdoor fire in the North of England caused by a disposable barbecue.

How many more fires to prove the point?
HappyHippie
2nd Jun 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
we have just had a massive fire on Dartmoor, took 3 days to put out, it was caused by one of these
Margaret Hart
31st May 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Having such a dry spring there is great danger of fires in very precious land and it is because of careless people who have a barbecue and drink until they past thinking sensibly that I think it would be better if they were not available although we have used many in our own garden and they’ve been ideal. Perhaps it would be better to stop them being used in many places so sensible people can still use them.
Lionel
31st May 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Having seen first hand an out of control inferno on the North York Moors some years ago disposable barbecues must be outlawed.

The thousands of acres of wild habitat damaged for several years; the wild like killed or at best scared off doesn't bear thinking about.

That inferno was confirmed to be a disposable barbecue. Just carelessness (I'm being generous here) caused all that loss of life and damage. These things must be outlawed. If those responsible can be traced then severe punitive treatment must be exacted.
The_bees_knees
30th May 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
It isn't difficult.....the clue is in the word 'disposable' and just why people don't do that (responsibly) is beyond me!
Get rid that's what I say. It seems too difficult a task for some people.
I personally don't see the joy in badly prepared singed but a little raw, food.... but those who think it adventurous to 'eat out' have to consider the bigger picture and consequences of leaving a potential fire hazard abandoned... for others to clear-away after them?
It becomes suddenly (as if only realising what a pain it would be) an inconvenience for them to take it away with them to dispose of safely.
Billythequiche
30th May 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
Along with most "disposable" things, that is a definite yes. There are a huge number of people in this country that think that rules and instructions are for other people, not them. Among them are some that don't care. If they cannot be trusted to keep to the rules then the option must be taken from them. The dangers are self evident and outweigh and inconvenience issues.
bob scott
30th May 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Yes, because common sense in a lot of cases does not prevail. When this happens the loss can be great in so many areas, it is a shame for the few responsible people, who take water along to dowse the finished BBQ. and surrounding area, that the could not care less brigade spoil it for the rest.

Bob Scott.
Mari50
30th May 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
The actual barbaque should not be banned but rhe people who buy should be banned from buying anything like it. We live in a 'do-gooder' society ruled by those who believe that it is thier human right to do what they want and not care about the consequences. They think it is ok to bury these items in the sand so that bare fet would be burned and leave them in woods so that nature is killed and firemens lives are put at risk. Personally things like this are too dangerous for the selfish and arragant people to buy. It is the responsible ones who suffer
MrsPat
30th May 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
They are dirty and smelly and we used to see lots of people using them on the local beach and some would just leave them! Can you believe that? Plus the food looked uncooked or burnt. No No No please ban them.
Wilf
30th May 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Yes they should. We came across 6 young lads a few weeks ago in a glade near here with a small bbq. Against my better judgement, I did tell them to be careful and had a good bit of banter with them but it can lead to fires and we occasionally came across them just thrown in the undergrowth.
Yagala
30th May 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Why should disposable barbeques be banned? It is the people who throw them away everywhere whom should be banned in using them. It is always people who are messing up nature everywhere.
Point in fact; next to my house is an alley which was used by many people to defecate, urinate, copulate, regurgitate and use needles, that stopped a few years ago when I installed flood lights and cameras.
If the problem is so desperate with these barbeques then something should be done about that, banning them is a simplistic way of doing something with no results whatsoever.
Felix1
29th May 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Its a pity, they are a great idea for responsible users. Unfortunately, despite all the publicity regarding fires, responsibility for your rubbish etc. there are still morons about.
Retiredyorkie
29th May 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
No don't think so but some idiots who do not use there common sense have to spoil it for other people these

.
Yodama
29th May 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
We should be careful of knee-jerk reactions. Banning great little barbecues because a couple of imbeciles caused a fire could have us further down the road to banning everything that brings us joy.
No I wouldn't ban them.
Valleyman
29th May 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
People might not intend harm. But just as with the Chinese lanterns which have started fires, the barbeques seem a pointless risk. Instead take a picnic. What better than cheese and wine on a tartan blanket? Many animals and birds die in these blazes. Al for some badly cooked chicken.
swaneldo
29th May 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
You can't ban everything which is dangerous - it's not the item, it's the people. Sadly we can't ban stupid people, but that is what is needed - anyone with intelligence would make sure the bbq is put out with a bit of water which would cool it down in minutes. If disposable bbqs were banned, bucket / portable bbqs would no doubt be used and the red hot coals dumped so the result would be the same. If we ban everything that stupid people abuse, the sensible people will be penalised from having a bit of a life!

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