Fire Service plea over domestic fires

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to stay safe and be vigilant when outdoors during the COVID-19 lockdown - and to try and avoid having bonfires.

The message comes as the combination of dry and warm weather over the weekend combined with recycling centres or ‘tips’ closing, has prompted more people to think about burning rubbish at home.

SFRS attended three bonfires this weekend which had spread to nearby trees and a woodpile and took several calls reporting burning of waste.

Head of service delivery Kevin Faulkner said: “It would be really helpful if people could avoid having bonfires during this coronavirus lockdown period. Please help us to help you by reducing any activity that could lead to us being called out unnecessarily.

“We all need to think about how we are using our outdoor spaces, particularly the garden so we have some easy guidance for you to follow but would strongly urge against it at this time and adding further pressure to the all the emergency services.”

Any bonfire should be sited well away from buildings fences, trees and garden structures, and have a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to accelerate.

  • If you’re intending to have a bonfire, please advise Fire Control by calling 01743 260290.
  • Please also be considerate of neighbours and always call 999 if you think the fire is spreading.
  • Site bonfires well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures
  • Have a garden hose or bucket of water to hand in case the fire starts to get out of control
  • Every bonfire should be supervised throughout the whole period that it is burning – remember if a fire is left unattended and does damage to property you may not be insured.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to start a bonfire
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately. Do not try to tackle a fire yourself. Please call the fire service and leave the area as soon as possible.
  • Ensure that you know your location or a landmark so you can direct firefighters to the scene – download the ‘what3words’ app to share the exact location.
  • Don't burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint - many produce toxic fumes and some containers may explode, causing injury

If you intend to have a bonfire, please notify Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service control room by calling 01743 260290 and providing contact details of the person responsible. This will help avoid unnecessary call outs and will also help manage incoming calls from concerned members of the public.

Alternatively visit the website for useful advice around bonfires.

31st March, 2020