LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Marks and Spencer (M&S) said on Wednesday it would stop selling disposable barbecues in order to reduce the risk of fires in dry conditions following a record heatwave.
A number of supermarket chains in Britain, including Aldi and Waitrose, had already banned or limited sales of disposable barbecues, which are made from lightweight aluminium and risk causing fires if they aren't put out properly.
"We'd already stopped selling disposable barbecues near national parks and in London but given the unusually hot and dry conditions, we've taken the precautionary step of removing them from sale across the UK," M&S said on Twitter.
The decision comes days after London's fire chief called for a total national ban on the sale of such barbecues following the city fire brigade's busiest week since World War Two as it battled an unprecedented number of grassland fires.
"The dry spell has left grassland like a tinderbox and increases the chances of a fire caused by a disposable barbecue," the London Fire Brigade said last week.
"Disposable barbecues need to be taken off the shelves needed to help prevent widespread blazes."
Britain recorded its hottest day ever on July 19, with the temperature exceeding 40C (104F) amid a heatwave across Europe. The Met Office has said that last month was the driest July in England since 1935, with some regions recording their driest July ever.
Earlier on Wednesday, water company South East Water announced a temporary ban on sprinklers and hosepipes in parts of the south of England to protect water supplies in the dry weather.
(Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)