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How to stay fire safe this summer

Do you know how to keep fire safe this summer? Many of us will be basking in the English sun, spending more time outside and without knowing it, potentially increasing the risk of fires.

Most summer fire safety hazards can actually be removed or reduced just by awareness and simple changes in behaviour.

BBQ’s

The risk: An exposed flame.

Tips:

  • Choose a good location- a flat surface and away from anything that can catch on fire, like tree branches, decorations or umbrellas.
  • It is not recommended to have BBQ’s on balconies, especially if they are particularly small or made out of wood.
  • Supervise the BBQ at all times and keep pets and children away.
  • Stay prepared for an emergency by having a bucket of sand or water nearby.
  • Once you have finished cooking, let the leftover coal cool down before you throw it away.
  • Don’t pour flammable liquids onto the BBQ for any reason.
  • If you are using a disposable BBQ, be sure to place it onto a solid, flat surface such as concrete. Grass, benches and plastic are not suitable.

Mirrors

The risk: Keeping a mirror somewhere the sun beams directly on to it (e.g. by a window) can ignite a fire if the mirror reflects the light onto something else. In 2015 a couples’ flat ended up with substantial fire damage after a mirror reflected light onto papers and furniture, sparking flames.

Tips:

  • Keep mirrors away from windows.
  • Ensure there are no sun rays shining directly onto any mirrors in your household.

Fire pits

The risk: The fire spitting out sparks or the flames catching fire to something else.

Tips:

  • Place on a flat surface and away from anything that can catch on fire, like tree branches, decorations or umbrellas.
  • It is recommended to place a fire pit 10 feet away from buildings and other people’s gardens.
  • Try to avoid cedar and pine as this type of wood is more likely to spit. Alternatively, you can buy a fire pit that is fueled by gas.
  • Try not to wear loose or flammable clothing when using the fire pit.

Littering

The risk: Glass, cigarettes and plastic can catch fire if left outside in the sun for a long period of time. During the heatwave in 2018, there were 56 roadside fires over just 10 days, many of which were thought to be caused by litter. 

Tips:

  • Don’t litter.
  • If there are no bins around, why not ask a nearby shop or restaurant to discard it for you or keep hold of the rubbish until you get home.

Propping open fire doors

The risk: During the hot summer months, it’s common for people to prop open doors to allow fresh air to flow through the building. If a fire were to break out and the fire doors were wedged open, smoke and fire would rapidly spread through the whole building.

Tips:

  • Keep doors closed and invest in air conditioning or fans.
  • Purchase a device that is suitable for holding your door open legally and safely.

We can only hope for a long hot summer here in England, but we can guarantee that we will have a fire-safe one! 

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