Fire safety doesn’t stop when you leave the house.

Outdoor fires destroy large areas of countryside and affect hundreds of farms every year. Careful preparation of activities outside and away from the home will go a long way to prevent fires.

Dos

Don’ts

  • Build bonfires well away from buildings, fences and trees
  • Burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby
  • Use petrol or paraffin
  • Check that animals are not inside the bonfire before lighting
  • Avoid building fires near roads, especially major roads or motorways

Dos

Don’ts

  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees and shrubs
  • Leave a lit barbecue unattended
  • Keep children and pets away from the cooking area
  • Cook if you’re affected by alcohol or prescription drugs
  • Set up your barbecue on level ground
  •  Take a barbecue indoors – even when the flames aren’t visible, it can still give off carbon monoxide fumes, which can be deadly
  • If you have a gas barbecue always store gas cylinders outside
  • Use only approved lighter fluids and only ever on cold coals
  • Keep a bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose nearby for emergencies
  • Be careful when cooking fatty foods, the dripping fat can cause the barbecue to flare up

Dos

Don’ts

  • Set up tents at least six metres apart and away from parked cars
  • Use candles in or near a tent – use a torch instead
  • Make sure you know what the fire arrangements on the camp site are and where the nearest telephone is
  • Smoke inside a tent
  • Avoid open fires in the countryside – only use barbecues in designated areas and never leave them unattended
  • Leave glass bottles lying around – sunlight shining through glass can start a fire
  • Place your cooking area well away from the tent
  • Keep your cooking areas clear of items that catch fire easily for example long, dry grass
  • Put cooking appliances in a place where they can’t easily be knocked over
  • Keep matches, lighters, flammable liquids and gas cylinders out of the reach of children
  • Have an escape plan and be prepared to cut your way out of your tent if there is a fire

Gas Cylinders

  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder
  • Never smoke whilst changing your gas cylinder
  • If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing soapy water around all joints, watching for bubbles

Every year in the UK some 1,700 farm buildings and 66,000 areas of grassland are destroyed by fire. Half of these fires are started deliberately, either as an act of mindless vandalism or as a fraudulent insurance claim.

Serious farm fires can affect the financial stability of even the most well run business, and 40 percent of businesses that suffer arson attacks never trade successfully again.

Farms are particularly vulnerable to arson. Their isolated location, open boundaries, readily ignitable hay and straw make them an easy target.

Whilst arson attacks on farms and small holdings may be difficult to eliminate, a number of simple precautions can substantially reduce the risk of attack.

Please take the time to have a read through the dos and don’ts when dealing with heathland, grass, crop, hay and straw fires.

Dos

Don’ts

  • Store hay and straw in separate buildings and at least 10 metres apart
  • Leave fertilisers, pesticides or  storage tank outlets unlocked
  • Store petrol, diesel and other fuels in a secure area
  • Attempt to tackle fires
  • Make sure that refuse is disposed of safely and on a regular basis
  • In an emergency evacuate the area, give a landmark to help locate the fire and describe the type of fire

Determining your risk

A quick survey around the outdoors area will identify areas where an arsonist could strike.

Ask the local crime prevention officer or your insurance advisor for their assistance and guidance.

Thatched Property

Thatched Property Safety GuideThatched roofs will burn rapidly in a fire and are difficult to defend in a blaze as their materials are designed to repel water. Around 90% of thatched roof fires start as a result of a faulty flue or chimney. Prevention is essential; detection is nearly always too late.

Use the various links on this page to download useful guides and information sheets about how you can help prevent a fire occurring within your thatched property.

Thatch Property Safety Guide:

(RBFRS acknowledges the kind permission of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service in allowing us to reproduce this.)

For further information use the Contact Us link to find out how to reach us.

Dos

Don’ts

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground
  • Leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them)
  • Talk to young people about the dangers of lighting fires
  • Leave barbecues unattended and only light them in designated areas

USEFUL INFORMATION

To report all incidents or anyone acting suspiciously call:

  • 999 in an emergency
  • 101 for a non-emergency police incident
  • CRIMESTOPPERS
  • Report anonymously by calling Crimestoppers 0800 555 111