Review into whether disposable barbecues should be banned after calls from Halifax's MP

The Government is commissioning a review into the involvement of disposable barbecues in wildfires after a debate led by Halifax's MP.

By sarah fitton
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 11:13 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 11:16 am

Holly Lynch proposed the Westminster Hall debate, which took place yesterday, and argued that a ban on the sale of disposable barbecues should be considered.

Ms Lynch said West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has already attended 75 serious wildfires so far this year with “a significant number caused by careless and reckless use of disposable barbecues”.

She said in one weekend in February, firefighters were called to three fires directly related to disposable barbecues.

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Sheep graze on the hillside as smoke is seen after a resurgence of a moor fire on Marsden Moor last year. (Getty Images)

Ms Lynch said a recent major fire at Brimham Rocks, in North Yorkshire, had led to the National Trust issuing a reminder that barbecues were banned at the site.

“The suffering inflicted on wildlife as a consequence of such fires is one of the greatest tragedies of this particular problems," she said.

"These fires also put a tremendous strain on our emergency services.

“I appreciate banning the sale of disposable barbecues sounds like a big step. I fully accept that there are many users of disposable barbecues who use them responsibly.

MP for Halifax Holly Lynch

“However, I think I have been clear in outlining the scale of the problem and the devastation caused, which warrants consideration of all the ways we can manage the risk up to and including a ban on their sale.

“Between 2019 and 2020 alone, there were 240 accidental fires caused by barbecues in England and these were just the fires where the source was identified.”

She said many retailers are supportive of restrictions, with the Co-op stopping the sale of disposable barbecues in stores that are within a mile of a national park and Aldi and Waitrose bringing in overall bans.

Her call was supported by Conservative MP for Keighley Robbie Moore, who said last week firefighters were called to Ilkley Moor as a result of an incident involving a disposable barbecue. He said it was the latest in a string of similar incidents on the moor.

Mr Moore said he would also support a ban on sky lanterns due to the harm they cause to animals.

“At a national level, there is much work the Government could do in terms of really exploring of banning both disposable barbecues and most definitely banning sky lanterns,” he said.

Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said afterwards: “I’d like to announce today that we are commissioning research into the role barbecues play in wildfires, specifically disposable barbecues and we will also this research to determine the role of other flammable items such as sky lanterns and portable stoves.”