Reusable Barbecue Guidance

This document provides fire safety guidance for the use of reusable barbecues on campus, by staff and students, for both formal and informal events. The term ‘reusable barbecue’ applies to any barbecue that is not the disposable foil type. Please refer to Barbecue Usage Guidance-Disposable Foil Type Barbecues for further information on the use of disposable barbecues.

This document does not include guidance on food safety & hygiene or wider event safety, both of which will need to be considered when planning a reusable barbecue event. If you require further guidance, please contact:

The person organising the barbecue is responsible for supervising the gathering throughout and ensuring that this guidance is adhered to. In addition, they must ensure that they have the means of communication available to them to be able to contact Security or the Emergency Services in the event of an emergency.


  • The University Health & Safety Service must be notified of any reusable barbecue event at least a week before it is due to take place. The Notification of Events Including Barbecues Form, available on the Health & Safety Service website, can be used for this purpose. Students in Halls must use this form to notify their Warden Team of an event. This must be signed off by the Duty Sub Warden or Warden before the barbecue takes place and a copy sent to;, together with the event risk assessment
  • An event risk assessment must be completed that considers the hazards posed by fire and heat and how the risks posed by these hazards will be mitigated against and managed during the event.
  • The location where the barbecue is to be sited must be taken into consideration and the relevant permissions sought from the Grounds/Events Teams where required. Barbecues should be sited in one of the purpose-built barbecue areas. Hall management teams and wardens can advise on the location of these areas within the Halls of Residence. If a non-designated area is used, the barbecue must be sited as far away as possible from buildings, trees & plants, and parked vehicles and on a firm and stable surface. A clearance of at least 2 metres is required.
  • Where an event risk assessment identifies a need for firefighting equipment, one foam fire extinguisher (minimum 2 litres) can be obtained on loan from the fire extinguisher store in the FM Yard. Please note that for events where a gas barbecue is used, the gas must be isolated before the extinguisher is used. Loan requests should be submitted at least a week before the event via Archibus and the equipment collected from and returned to the FM Yard as agreed. It is recommended that a bucket of water of sand is prepared ahead of the event and on standby at all times as a minimum firefighting precaution.
  • If you require further guidance, please contact the University Fire Safety Team:

Please note, the Fire Safety Team can advise but are not responsible for writing event risk assessments.

  • Ensure that sufficient time is planned to allow for cooling the barbecue at the end of the event, including the safe disposal of use charcoal and ashes.

During the Event

  • The barbecue must not be left unattended at any time during the event.
  • Any firefighting equipment specified in the event risk assessment must be in place before the barbecue is lit and must remain in place for the duration of the event.
  • Check the wind direction before lighting the barbecue. If you have any concerns about the risk of fire or smoke due to the wind direction, consider relocating the barbecue if possible to do so safely within the designated event area. If you are unable to allay these concerns, consider cancelling/postponing the event.
  • No other flammable liquids must be used or stored in the vicinity of the lit barbecue

Gas Barbecues

If using a gas barbecue:

  • Check that all pipes and connections are in good condition before the barbecue is lit.
  • Only the gas cylinder that is in use should be present within the event area. Spare cylinders should be kept in a secure, well-ventilated area well away from the site of the barbecue.
  • Gas cylinders should be changed in the open air.
  • If you suspect a gas leak, turn the gas off immediately.
  • Always turn gas cylinders off before disconnecting the hose.
  • The barbecue must be used in line with the manufacturer’s instructions at all times

Charcoal Barbecues

  • Use only enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue to a depth of 5cm/2 inches.
  • Solid fire lighters should be used where possible. These should only be applied to cold coals.
  • The use of barbecue lighting fluid should be avoided as far as possible. If barbecue lighting fluid is used, follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely and only apply to cold coals. The lighting fluid must be strictly controlled and removed from the location immediately once it has been applied.
  • The barbecue must be used in line with the manufacturer’s instructions at all times.

After the Event

  • Charcoal barbecues should be thoroughly doused with water to ensure that the barbecue is extinguished,
  • The gas cylinder of gas barbecues should be turned off before turning the barbecue off at the controls. This is to ensure that any residual gas that may be present in the pipework is used up before the cylinder is disconnected.
  • Ensure that the barbecue has cooled down before attempting to move or store it.
  • Ensure that coals or ashes are completely cool before disposal. If in doubt, douse with water a second time.

In the event of an Emergency, contact either:

  • Security on 888 (internal telephones) or 0800526966
  • Emergency Services on 999.

If you call 999 and request the attendance of the Emergency Services, you must also contact Security to give details of the incident and location.

The University Security Team reserve the right to extinguish any barbecue in breach of this guidance or where it is deemed that a nuisance is being caused.Failure to adhere to this guidance may result in disciplinary action.

In line with recommendations from the Fire & Rescue Service, Loughborough University may prohibit the use of barbecues on site during extremely dry weather conditions.