It happens every year, as soon as the first sunny weekend in spring approaches husbands and father all over the country announce that the family is to have the first barbeque of the year. Many men are now sharing kitchen duties in the home with their working wives, but strangely even the most incapable of men will immediately take charge as soon as barbeque is mentioned.
Hungry and impatient Britons – largely men, we feel – are causing nearly £3 million worth of damage to their homes by sparking barbecues with highly flammable liquids. This situation can be exacerbated by the fickle British weather, one minute glorious sunshine the next cloudy and rainy.
Almost two million in the UK say that they use petrol or lighter fluid on their barbeques, a major cause of the 1,000 uncontrollable barbeque fires reported every year.
This is in addition to the potential health hazards of breathing in the fumes said the high street building society which carried out the research.
Home insurance companies have warned that barbeques should be sited well away from your house or other flammable structures and out of any strong winds.
While the average barbeque fire costs £148, around a quarter of a million have caused damage of between £500 and £2,500.
"Using petrol or white spirits to light a barbeque is extremely dangerous and could easily result in a fire that is uncontrollable," said a representative of the firm.
"Millions of Britons risk the health and safety of themselves and their guests by using potentially lethal accelerants to light barbeques."
Top Barbeque favourites:
• Steak – the classic barbeque fare.
• Chicken – usually wings or drumsticks; this is very popular with children.
• Burgers and sausages – can’t have a barbeque without them and a bit of salad and sauce in a bun.
• Fish – almost any fish steak will cook well including salmon, tuna, and red snapper.
• Prawns – another favourite with the kids.
• Kebabs – great for using up left-overs in the fridge.
• Vegetables – aubergines and courgettes cook well.
• Puddings – baked bananas are lovely with a little grated chocolate.
If you would like to know more about cooking why not ask AnswerBank Food and Drink.