Co-op removes Instant BBQs from sale in National Parks

Today (Tuesday 15th June) Co-op has announced they are withdrawing instant BBQs from sale in their stores situated in or within a one-mile radius of all UK National Parks, in a move designed to help prevent devastating wildfires.

Millions of instant barbecues are sold every year and are safely used and enjoyed by the vast majority of people however many National Parks and some landowners have introduced a ban on their usage.  The convenience retailer has made this announcement to help consumers, who will often purchase the instant BBQs on the way to visit these beauty spots, to support these local bans.

Adele Balmforth, Buying Director at Co-op said: “Whilst the majority of consumers use, extinguish, and dispose of instant BBQs safely, and we continue to sell many of them from our stores across the UK, we respect that local decisions to protect the parkland have to be made. Where we have stores in, and within a one-mile radius, of a National Park we have removed instant BBQs from sale to help protect the landscape of the communities in which we serve. “

This announcement comes as part of Co-op’s campaign, launched with the support of the National Fire Chiefs Council and Greater Manchester Fire Service called ‘Put Me Out’, to promote safer use of instant barbecues this summer.

The ‘Put Me Out’ safety drive features hard-hitting on-pack messaging to remind customers of the need to extinguish and dispose of the devices properly, with instructions illustrating the fact that water should be used to safely put them out.

Messaging also reinforces rules around instant barbecues only being used in authorised outdoor environments and not in areas that have a public space protection order against them.

Co-op’s move follows concerns shared by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) over the number of instant barbecue related fires, both in outdoor spaces and in the home when used on balconies or too close to garden fences and trees. NFCC is not calling for a ban of instant barbecues as it could encourage people to use makeshift ones, which can be unpredictable but wants people to be able to enjoy barbecues and urges everyone to use them responsibly.

Of particular concern to fire prevention authorities are the number of outdoor fires sometimes caused by an instant device, which can lead to wildfires and large-scale protracted incidents.

Paul Hedley, National Fire Chiefs Council lead for wildfires, said: “We support Co-op’s move – adding clear warnings along with simple messaging on how to dispose of these barbecues is an effective way to prevent fires. Most people manage to enjoy instant barbecues with no issues but the worrying upward trend in wildfires caused by these devices, cannot be ignored and action has to be taken.”

Instant BBQs have been removed from sale in 130 Co-op stores across the UK.

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