Fire safety outdoors

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Please note: This safety advice is offered as guidance only. If in doubt, Get out, Stay out and get the Fire and Rescue Service out!

Leisure time spent in the garden or countryside should be an enjoyable and safe experience.

These simple fire safety rules will help you look after your family and friends.



  • Position on a level site away from wooden fencing, sheds, and hedges
  • Don't place on dry grass or vegetation
  • Use firelighters or barbecue fuel to light - NEVER use petrol, paraffin etc
  • Never leave the barbecue unattended - keep children well away from the cooking area
  • Fatty foods can cause the coals to flare up
  • Never move a BBQ until it is cool. Make sure any remaining charcoal is cold before disposing of it thoughtfully
  • Keep water handy to deal with any unexpected spread of fire
  • Make sure that alcohol doesn't effect your ability to act safely
  • Make sure matches are extinguished before disposing of them
  • Make sure the controls and cylinder valves of a gas barbecue are turned off before you change the cylinder in a well-ventilated area. Always check connections for leaks
  • Take extra care when using barbecues in the countryside, fire spreads very rapidly over open ground!


  • Site well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures and keep a water supply handy
  • Don't light on a windy day and be considerate to neighbours
  • Never use flammable liquids to start the fire, keep it small, under control and attended

Refuelling garden equipment

  • Refill garden equipment such as greenhouse heaters, petrol mowers etc in the open air
  • Take care when lighting heaters and never move whilst alight. Never place heaters near flammable materials
  • Deal with spills by allowing them to evaporate, soak into the ground or dress with an absorbent material. Significant spills should be reported to the Environment Agency

Garden candles and lanterns

  • When using candles or flares, make sure they are firmly pushed into the ground
  • Keep children and pets well away from naked flames and hot lanterns
  • Extinguish candles, flares and lanterns when you have finished with them


  • Always store flammable liquids in appropriate and properly marked containers, don't store large quantities
  • If transporting make sure they are in an appropriate container e.g. petrol can and caps are secured

Never smoke when refuelling any equipment

If clothing catches fire - stop, drop and roll!

Further information

Community Fire Safety

Telephone: 01743 260 200