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The Co-op has stopped selling instant barbecues from stores that are situated in or within a mile radius of a UK national park.

The move is designed to help prevent devastating wildfires that can sometimes be caused by an instant barbecue device. It will see 130 Co-op stores withdraw the product from shelves.

The convenience retailer also aims to support the local bans many national parks and some landowners have introduced on using disposable barbecues.

“Whilst the majority of consumers use, extinguish, and dispose of instant barbecues safely, and we continue to sell many of them from our stores across the UK, we respect local decisions to protect the parkland have to be made,” said Co-op buying director Adele Balmforth.

“Where we have stores in, and within a one-mile radius of, a national park, we have removed instant barbecues from sale to help protect the landscape of the communities in which we serve.”

The move forms part of Co-op’s campaign ‘Put Me Out’ to promote safer use of instant barbecues this summer. It was launched with the support of the National Fire Chiefs Council and Greater Manchester Fire Service.

The ‘Put Me Out’ safety drive features “hard-hitting” on-pack messaging to remind customers of the need to extinguish and dispose of the devices properly.

It followed concerns shared by the NFCC over the number of instant barbecue related fires, both in outdoor spaces and in the home when used on balconies or too close to garden fences and trees.

NFCC is not calling for a ban of instant barbecues as it could encourage people to use makeshift ones, but wants people to be able to enjoy and use them responsibly.

NFCC lead for wildfires Paul Hedley said: “We support Co-op’s move – adding clear warnings along with simple messaging on how to dispose of these barbecues is an effective way to prevent fires.

“Most people manage to enjoy instant barbecues with no issues but the worrying upward trend in wildfires caused by these devices cannot be ignored and action has to be taken.”

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