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The Cinders Little Black Book of Barbecue Etiquette...

...(and how to avoid upsetting your neighbours)

According to one national tabloid newspaper in the UK, millions of Brits are living next door to a nuisance neighbour with some homeowners reporting that their life has been turned into a nightmare by the selfish, rude and sometimes aggressive actions of the folks who live next door. Arguments over parking spaces, conservatories and extensions, loud noise, leaving out rubbish and poor domiciliary upkeep, annoying pets and kids, and taking delivery of other people’s parcels and post are listed as some of the top reasons we fall out.

Don’t let your barbecue put wind up your neighbours

And right up there in the list of things that cause our neighbours to niggle is our Great British Barbecue. The smoke from your barbecue wafting through their open window, your music, laughter and chatter, sometimes late into the night, may be great fun for you but may also be the cause of some significant neighbourly irritation.

In cities the problem, and the risk of falling out becomes even worse. Our domestic outdoor space is often confined to narrow terraces, stamp-sized patios, and small patches of land that comprise the urban garden. We’re forced into very close proximity to our neighbours, especially when we’re trying to relax and socialise outside during the summer months.

Why is one person’s delight another’s antisocial behaviour

Some of the main complaints from the people next door when the barbecue has been fired up are the strong cooking smells, loud noise, antisocial hours, smoke blowing over clean washing and, on a more serious note, asthma sufferers’ being aggravated by a smoky atmosphere, and the fear of fire risk to property.

To make sure your neighbours continue to be on your Christmas card list and to avoid unintentionally upsetting them when you get out your grill, grab your tongs and don your apron, here are some top tips from Cinders:

Some top tips from Cinders for keeping everyone happy

Knock on their door or drop a note through the letterbox a few days before your event to let them know you’ll be holding a BBQ. If you’re feeling particularly public-spirited, why not invite them too?

  1. Keep your music down, and particularly on a ‘school night’. Be considerate if your neighbours get up for work early or if they have young children too.
  2. Try and keep the noise low level, and ask guests to leave quietly at night. The Noise Act 1996 states the hours of night are 11 pm to 7 am.
  3. Ask your guests to park considerately and don’t block access ways.
  4. Keep the fire a safe way from fences and neighbouring property.
  5. Consider the wind direction and place your barbecue so that the smoke blows in a different direction to adjacent properties.

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