Fire safety: Don't drop your guard during the holiday months
Mon 4 Jul, 2016
With everyone keeping their fingers crossed for a long, hot summer, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is hoping it will be a safe one too.
Firefighters are urging people not to drop their guard against the risk of fire during the holiday months.
Community safety manager Richard Priest said: “Whether you are planning to go camping or caravanning, or simply looking forward to spending more time outdoors, we want everyone to have a good time without falling foul of seasonal risks."
Richard offered the following tips:
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows or drop them on the ground – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- Make sure you follow the Countryside Code. To find out more, click here.
If a fire should break out or you discover a fire:
- Don't be tempted to investigate. Leave the area as quickly as possible and ring 999 for the fire and rescue service.
- Give the exact location. If possible, give a map reference. If this is not possible, a landmark such as a farm or pub will help firefighters locate you.
- Do not return to the area unless firefighters tell you that it is safe to do so.
If you must have an open fire or camp fire:
- Clear away dry vegetation and leaves to form a circle of earth around the fire.
- Build a stack that will collapse inwards while burning.
- Don't leave fires unattended, and make sure that fires are fully extinguished after use.
- If you are camping, the fire should be downwind, at least 10 metres from the tent.
Tents and caravans
- Allow a gap of at least six metres between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
- Never take a smouldering or lit barbecue inside a tent. Even if you have finished cooking, your barbecue should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use. (Click here for more information about barbecues).
- Don’t smoke inside tents, and never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
- Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls, and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass.
- Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there’s a fire.
- Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire. Stop, drop and roll, as running will fan the flames.
- Fit and test a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm in your caravan.
- Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended.
- Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed.
- Don’t dry clothes over the stove.
- Don’t store fuel under the caravan. Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
- Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents.