Outdoor fire safety this summer
British summer is infamous for its bi-polar weather conditions. That’s why when Brits do get a glimpse of sunshine, we’re straight outside firing up the BBQ, heading out camping and working on those beetroot red tans on the nearest patch of grass.
But, in amongst the festivities we see over 27,000 fires started on UK heathland and moorland each year - that’s 73 a day*. We can bring this worrying number down by making sure we’re aware of fire safety rules during the summer months – when grassland will be dry and more prone to spread fire.
Here’s ADT’s guide to outdoor fire safety this summer:
In the countryside
If you’re out for a walk in the countryside or woodlands, there are a few things to watch out for. First, never start an open fire in the countryside - especially on dry grass. If you want to enjoy a fire on a summer night, there are plenty of areas set up to handle this safely across Britain.
Always avoid putting out cigarettes on the grass or throwing them out of the car window, they can easily start fires. You should obviously take any litter home with you, but glass bottles in particular can reflect the sun and instantly set the area alight.
Having a BBQ
First thing to note is to always keep a bucket of water next to the BBQ. That way, if it gets out of control you’re prepared. It’s also good to buy some recognised lighter fluid, you should never use petrol of paraffin to stir up a BBQ.
Make sure your BBQ is well away from sheds, outhouses, trees and shrubs, and never use it indoors or inside a tent. When you’re finished always empty the ashes onto bare garden soil, not in plastic bins or on grass where they can cause fires.
When you’re camping
As soon as you arrive on-site, check the fire safety procedure. Then set up at least 6m away from other parked caravans and tents, so if a fire does start it will be unlikely to spread.
Don’t smoke or cook inside a tent as most cheap ones are highly flammable, it’s also a good idea to keep cooking equipment away from any grassy or wooded areas on-site. Most established camp sites will have areas or equipment available to help you cook safely.
It goes without saying, but never try and tackle a fire that can’t be put out with one bucket of water. If you spot a fire in the great outdoors, call the fire brigade immediately. It’s not worth risking it spreading to the whole area or your own personal safety.