Outdoor fire safety reminder from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

As part of the July Fire Kills campaign, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is asking people to stay safe this summer by barbecuing safely, avoiding a fire when boating, and to camp safely.

Fire Kills’ top tips for camping safely:

Tents:

  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Never use candles in or near a tent.
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll.
  • Don’t smoke inside tents.

Caravans

  • Fit and test a smoke 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.
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn or topple over – never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t dry clothes over the stove.
  • 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, to avoid a build up of poisonous gases.

 

Open Fires  If you must have an open fire:

  • It should be downwind, at least 10m from the tent.
  • Clear dry vegetation, leaves, etc. to form a circle of earth around the fire.
  • Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning.
  • Do not leave fires unattended.
  • Make sure fires are fully extinguished after use.

 

Cllr Paul Smyth, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, said: “Summer brings warmer weather and lighter evenings but also seasonal risks like BBQ related fires and swimming hazards. So while people enjoy themselves on holiday or in time spent with family and friends this summer, it is worth heeding the simple safety messages found in the ‘Fire Kills’ tips.”

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is also asking everyone to take extra care when cooking al fresco, especially when lighting barbecues.

Doug Underwood, Community Safety Team Manager at the Service, said: “We all know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals a helping hand. By far the biggest danger is the use of flammable liquids to light the barbecue. But, please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.

“If you’ve planned a barbecue and the weather lets you down, don’t take the barbecue indoors or into a tent. In recent years, some people have sadly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result, so we are urging everyone to stay safe this summer.”

Last year in the UK, there were 50 deaths from Carbon Monoxide poisoning and 4,000 hospital admissions.

By following the Fire Kills campaign’s top tips you can ensure your barbecue is a safe, enjoyable event:

  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more.
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins
  • Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service is also reminding sailing enthusiasts in the county to take care while on the water this summer.

“The number of boat fires on our coastal and inland waters is relatively low.” said Doug Underwood. “But when they do occur, they quite often have devastating consequences.”

“The remote location of most moorings means that fire and rescue services can find it hard to get close to boating incidents. And on many occasions, this delay can result in the total destruction of the boat and surrounding property.”

For more information on outdoor summer safety please visit www.facebook.com/firekills

 

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