London Fire Brigade calls for ‘urgent’ ban on disposable barbecues amid record-breaking 40C temperatures

“I am now calling for a temporary ban on the use of barbecues in all public parks and open spaces and I’m asking for your help to keep people safe.”

London councils need to urgently ban the use of disposable barbecues in all public parks, the city’s top firefighter has said.

The capital is currently undergoing a wave of unprecedented hot weather, with record-breaking temperatures of 40.2C, as Britain sizzles in the sun.

Fires have been breaking out across the capital, and the London Fire Brigade has declared a “major incident”.

Now fire commissioner Andy Roe has called for a ban on disposable barbecues in parks and open spaces.

It comes after the fire service says it has attended more than 1,000 grass and open land fires since the start of June - just under seven weeks ago - making it more than 20.4 a day.

Londoners have been asked not to barbecue in public parks or open spaces. Photo: Getty

Andy Roe, chief of the fire service, issued a London-wide safety warning and said: “With no end to the hot weather in sight, I am deeply concerned the unprecedented scale of these fires is set to continue, putting lives at risk and devastating green spaces around the capital.

“The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been issuing warnings and safety advice to Londoners throughout the summer, but people are continuing to behave carelessly and recklessly.

“I am now calling for a temporary ban on the use of barbecues in all public parks and open spaces and I’m asking for your help to keep people safe.”

It follows days of exceptionally hot weather which has resulted in an incredibly busy period for the capital’s firefighters.

Barbecues are one of the most common causes of grass blazes, the fire service said, and while many councils already have localised bans in place, a city-wide rule is now needed.

People can help by following safety advice and ensuring cigarettes are always properly disposed of and rubbish, especially glass, is safely thrown away, due to the risk of sparks.

Mr Roe added: “As we have also sadly seen on more than one occasion so far this summer, it is really dangerous to enter open water.

“We understand people will be looking for ways to cool down, but the water is colder than it looks and your body can go into cold water shock which causes panic, anxiety, disorientation and loss of muscular control.

“We’re not trying to take the fun out of the heatwave which we know some people will be enjoying, but it is a very serious situation for many.

“For the sake of our city – and of our firefighters who have to work in sweltering temperatures to tackle these blazes – we’d really like people to take our advice on board.”