Disposable barbecues ‘must be banned completely before next heatwave’

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It comes after the London Fire Brigade had its busiest week on record Caption: (Picture: Getty/@MordenHallPkNT)

London’s most senior fire officer has called for a complete ban on disposable barbecues ahead of a new summer heatwave.

London’s Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said ‘urgent action’ was needed to introduce a national ban on the sale of disposable barbecues. which he warned could cause ‘untold damage’.

Firefighters attended more than 1,000 fires in the week from July 18 as temperatures soared, taking more than twice as many calls as usual and tackling an unprecedented number of large grassland fires.

During that period the brigade received 8,302 calls, while on average it usually takes around 450 calls a day.

One discarded disposable barbecue did all of this in Morden Hall Park , southwest London (Picture: Morden Hall Park)

Around 25 firefighters were called to this grass fire yesterday in Wanstead Flats, Newham, east London (Picture: SWNS)

Mr Roe said people behaved ‘carelessly’ and ‘recklessly’ despite warnings about grass fires.

On Saturday firefighters prevented a serious blaze at Wanstead Flats, east London, caused by a disposable barbecue.

Mr Roe said disposable barbecues ‘can be bought for as little as £5 and can cause untold damage, especially when the grass is as dry as it has been over the last few weeks’.

He added: ‘Last week is another example of how we are increasingly being challenged by new extremes of weather as our climate changes and we’re developing long-term strategies to deal with more incidents like this in the future.’

Clearly not everyone has got the message yet – including this couple pictured having a barbecue in tinderbox conditions right next to the remains of a fire that had just been put out.

Fire chiefs are calling for more steps to be taken before another heatwave potentially hits next month (Picture: Morden Hall Park)

Waitrose, Aldi, and other retailers have said they will no longer stock disposable barbecues (Picture: SWNS)

The London Fire Brigade is backing a petition set up by Toby Tyler whose son Will was severely burned by a disposable barbecue.

Waitrose, Aldi, and other retailers have announced they will no longer stock disposable barbecues because of their detrimental impact on the environment and wildlife.

The London Fire Brigade experienced its ‘busiest week’ in history – even compared to the Blitz of World War II as a result of wildfires just over a week ago.

A total of 16 homes were lost in the large fire in Wennington, east London, and crews had to fight to save the fire station itself from the flames.

With the Met Office predicting another heatwave next month, people are calling for extra steps to be taken to prevent wildfires.

The National Fire Chiefs Council has warned UK cities they need to prepare for wildfires after dozens of ‘unprecedented’ blazes broke out during last week’s record breaking temperatures.

Firefighters also shared tips on how to prevent grass fires which included not having barbecues on balconies, parks and public spaces.

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