Keeping fires splendidly safe this Summer
What joy summer brings. More time spent outdoors, warmer evenings and uplifting memories made. With that comes our primal urge to be around fire: as humans, we’re drawn to the warm lick of the flame in the great outdoors.
Considering we’re also not able to travel further afield this year, there’s no wonder we and our neighbours are getting top notch usage out of our barbecues, firepits or campfires. But, as the name suggests, with fires come hazards. Particularly during the summer months when the ground is dryer and whilst the emergency services already have a tremendous amount of weight on their shoulders, we must have our wits about us.
This is a guide for fire safety to help keep summer how it should be: joyful with positive memories only.
The Great British barbecue
The Great British barbecue. Simply glorious. Come rain or shine, the summer months have us flocking to our favourite spots, nurturing our beloved barbecues and crafting fire-kissed morsels for feasts with loved ones. To stay safe and keep yourself and your barbecue in action all summer long, simply follow these tips.
- Light your barbecue in a clear space on a flat surface.
- Have a bottle or ideally bucket of water nearby in case of an emergency.
- Keep children and pets at a safe distance from the barbecue and always make sure they are supervised.
- Don’t leave your lit fire unattended.
- If using a gas barbecue, ensure the gas is turned off after use.
- Don’t try to move or pick up the barbecue once it’s lit - as you can imagine, they get very hot!
- When disposing of the barbecue or the ash after use, ensure that it has completely cooled down.
- If you’re not sure what to do with your waste ash, discover a world of ashy wonder in our previous article on the topic.
- Dispose of your barbecue accoutrement accordingly and do not litter.
Once wildlings, it’s true that we adore open, untamed flames. The excitement of them crackling and climbing into the sky, the glowing warmth like a mixture of adrenaline and calm. Open fires — while absolutely lovely to be near — do come with additional risks, calling for further caution.
- Light your campfire well away from sleeping premises.
- Always place your fire downwind from your tent.
- Don’t dash logs into a fire quickly as sparks may fly out and hit you — gently place them onto the fire, using a fire safe glove or tool if needed.
- Keep children and pets at a safe distance and ensure they are always supervised.
- Don’t leave your fire unattended.
- Ensure it is fully distinguished before going to bed or leaving the campsite.
Beach fire safety
- Along with the above advice, ensure it’s acceptable to have a fire at your chosen spot.
- Make sure you set up the fire in a clear, open space.
- Always distinguish properly before leaving.
- Do not harm any wildlife while you are there.
- Do not leave a trace, meaning leave the beach as you found it.
Actively work against wildfires
Wildfires are a terrible thing. We’ve seen enough of them across the globe this year, and they are incredibly tricky to extinguish once they take hold. They must be avoided at all costs — our lives, wildlife, nature and homes depend on it.
Reducing the risks of a wildfire
- Only have fires and barbecues in suitably designated areas.
- Ensure any cigarettes are disposed of correctly and do not remain ignited.
- Always extinguish fires and barbecues properly, ensuring no warm debris is released.
- Avoid open fires in the countryside and in spaces where there is potentially flammable foliage, such as dry grass and trees.
What to do if you spot a wildfire
- Report it to the emergency services and fire department immediately with the exact location — if you do not know where you are, we recommend using the app or browser version of What3Words to pass your location on to the authorities.
- Alert the local landowner.
- Keep yourself well away from it, as well as anyone else you see close by and especially children, pets and wildlife.
Only burn wood
You ought to know this already but when having a fire, remember to only burn wood. Many items release toxic chemicals when alight, such as aerosols or plastics, and can also be highly flammable. Try burning sustainable firewood instead, such as kiln dried logs: they are much better for the environment and your own conscience.
Stop, drop and roll
Learned in childhood safety lessons and never forgottonn. If any of your clothes do set on fire, always draw on the advice to ‘stop, drop and roll’. This means to stay still (don’t run around in panic), drop to the floor, cover your face and roll on the ground to distinguish the flames.
To enjoy the beauty of a fire, we must also know the dangers and make better choices because of them. Learn this guidance, shop around on our site and go and enjoy the rest of the Summer with your loved ones. It’s time to make memories.