WITH summer on its way, firefighters are calling on visitors to the New Forest to use barbecues safely.

As many visit the area to camp, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Safer New Forest Partnership is reminding visitors about the potentially life-threatening dangers of barbecues.

The organisations have reminded anyone cooking outdoors this summer to only ever use barbecues outside and never take them into an enclosed space, ensure they are fully extinguished and kept away from any sleeping accommodation after use, keep an eye out for signs warning of high fire risk as barbecues should not be used in those areas, and always ensure they have enough water to fully extinguish one after use.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Steve Quinn hopes the safety message will help to save lives in the future.

He said: “To prevent an increased risk of fire, barbecues should be used outdoors with care and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

“In rural areas, they should always be off the ground and never left unattended. Approved fuel and firelighters should only ever be used, never petrol or paraffin.”