Sainsbury's and Tesco stop selling disposable barbecues amid wildfire risk

Credit: PA

Sainsbury's and Tesco are the latest supermarkets to remove disposable barbecues from their shop shelves during the current heatwave.

Sainsbury’s said the policy was a precautionary measure, after pausing the sale of disposable barbecues until further notice due to the fire risk they pose in the hot, dry weather.

“As a precautionary measure we are removing from sale all disposable barbecues until further notice," a spokesperson said.

"Safety is our highest priority and we have made this decision due to the hot and dry weather that we are currently experiencing across the country. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and listen to customer feedback.”

ITV News has been told that Tesco is to temporarily pause the sale of disposable barbecues across the UK due to the current dry conditions.

But the supermarket will continue to offer small metal portable barbecues for customers and said that disposable barbecues will be made available again once weather conditions allow.

There have been mounting calls to ban the sale of disposable barbecues after they were blamed for starting wildfires in England during the unprecedented heatwave in July, when temperatures rose above 40C.

Disposable barbecues are a fire risk, particularly on dry ground, and were cited as the cause of several blazes in England last month amid the record temperatures.

Firefighters responded to a large wildfire that broke out in woodland at Lickey Hills Country Park on the edge of Birmingham. Credit: PA

These included a serious blaze in Lickey Hills park near Birmingham, and a fire - which could have been major - that was prevented from spreading at Wanstead Flats, east London.

The London Fire Brigade has warned that disposable barbecues “pose a significant fire risk if they are not put out properly, causing grass fires in open spaces and scorching the grassed areas”.

As temperatures across the UK soar again, there have been renewed warnings of potential fires.

By Friday afternoon, temperatures are to soar as high as 35C in southern areas of the UK, which will be hotter than the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados.

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The Met Office’s fire severity index, an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start, is very high for most of England and Wales, and will reach “exceptional” – the highest level – for a swathe of England stretching to the border with Wales by the weekend.Earlier in August, Marks & Spencer announced that it had taken the “precautionary step” of removing disposable barbecues from sale across the UK. The retailer had already stopped selling disposable barbecues near national parks and in London in an effort to protect open spaces and reduce the risk of fires.

It followed moves by Waitrose, Aldi and other retailers which announced they would no longer stock disposable barbecues due to their detrimental impact on the environment and wildlife.