An online retailer will remove an “incredibly irresponsible” balcony BBQ from sale after being contacted by the News.
People having BBQs on balconies using various products have been linked to 600 fires in London in just three years, including a devastating block fire in Deptford which left residents homeless.
The fire on Deptford’s Childers Street in May, was caused by a BBQ being disposed of in a plastic bag on a balcony. A hundred people were evacuated.
The Fire Brigade issued a warning about the risks of using the ‘balcony BBQ’ products, designed to be specifically use on a balcony, and urged online retailers to remove them from sale.
Senior officials at the Brigade wrote to the website Coolshop, but it continued to sell the product until contacted by this paper.
“We are terribly sorry to hear this news,” said its marketing manager, Niilo Mikko Väisälä.
“This is the first time our Marketing department has been made aware of the issue, and the product is no longer being sold with us.
“We are now in the process of informing our customers of the fire hazard and safety concerns with this product.
“We will instruct everyone to dispose of the item without further delay and we will refund the purchases due to these concerns.”
However, the Dutch manufacturer of the product, MikaMax, did not respond to a request for comment by the News and continues to sell the BBQ on its website.
The London Fire Brigade’s Richard Mills said he wrote to the manufacturer last month about the dangers posed by people using these products on balconies but also said he did not receive a reply.
He said: “We remain deeply concerned that other companies did not respond to my letter and that these products may still be available for sale and customers are unaware of the dangers of using them.”
Mr Mills, the brigade’s deputy commissioner, also asked Trading Standards to investigate those selling balcony BBQ products.
The BBQ, which retails for around £50, is designed to ‘clip on’ to a balcony railing, despite the brigade’s claims of the risks this could pose to other inhabitants of flats.
“Put this BBQ up on the balcony railing and have a BBQ party on your own balcony,” states an ad for the product. “Now everyone without a garden can have a BBQ.”
The retailers Amazon and Menkind had already vowed to remove balcony BBQs from sale after the Deptford fire in response to concerns raised by the fire brigade.