Neighbours – everybody needs good neighbours. So why are millions of us feuding with ours?

Living in harmony alongside each other requires understanding, consideration and patience along with a measure of tact, to prevent minor issues escalating to the point they impact your home’s re-sale value.

Boundary disputes, overgrown gardens, noise from music and children, exploring pets and inconsiderately parked vehicles (or even wheelie bins) are all issues guaranteed to cause consternation.

We look at how back garden BBQ etiquette can help keep the peace in your neighbourhood.

Smoke is the main problem. If people have their windows open or their washing out, your food smells are likely to permeate. The time or day you hold your barbecue makes little difference too, so show a little courtesy, and treat them as you would like to be treated.

If you’re using a gas barbecue, and grilling just for your family, you’re unlikely to cause an issue. If your BBQ is charcoal, or you’re going to be wood-smoking your food, then the smoke it going to be stronger and may well encroach on their territory.

In this case, it would be polite to mention your plans to them, or drop a note through their letterbox. You might even think about inviting them. Likewise, if you’ve only a small garden, then let your neighbours know.

No matter how you are cooking, smoke from the grill, a chiminea or fire pit can constitute a nuisance.

Don’t leave dropped food on the ground – this will encourage mice and rats, cats and even foxes, to forage in your garden, and it’s no great journey from yours to your neighbours. Aside from hygiene and safety factors, your neighbours saying they’ve got pests because of your garden smorgasbord is likely to be extremely embarrassing.

Finally, some BBQ safety tips:

  • Make sure your barbecue is in good working order
  • Cook only when your barbecue is on a flat site, well away from buildings, plants and anything else that could catch light
  • Keep children and pets well away from the cooking area, and keep them away until the BBQ is completely cool. Arrange garden games in a separate area
  • Never leave the barbecue unattended
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
  • Ensure the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it.

For more BBQ tips check out: Must have BBQ tools.

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