Fire and summer safety advice

Date published: 26 June 2019

With the holidays approaching, there is advice on how to stay safe and be fire aware over the summer. Relax and enjoy the outdoors, but remember to act responsibly, stay alert to danger, and take fire safety precautions.

Gorse fires

Deliberate fire-setting in the countryside or making hoax calls can have very serious consequences.

Often the dry conditions lead to an increase in the number of gorse fires. Sadly the majority of these fires are caused deliberately.

Everyone is asked to be alert for anyone starting fires deliberately. Any suspicious behaviour should be reported to the police immediately.

When someone starts fires deliberately, they are putting not only firefighters’ lives at risk, but also the lives of everyone in the local community.

Gorse fires can also be caused accidentally by something as simple as:

  • throwing a cigarette from a car window
  • leaving a glass bottle on the ground
  • not putting out a barbeque properly

So be careful and dispose of any litter appropriately.

Avoid holiday complacency

If you’re on holiday, it’s important not to become complacent about your fire safety or indeed general safety.

Whether camping, caravanning, boating or enjoying the countryside, you need to think about your fire safety and the safety of your family.

Make sure you, and the people you are with: 

  • have taken all the necessary steps to make sure that fire doesn’t become your uninvited guest on your holiday
  • know what to do in the event of an emergency

You can find out more about fire safety at these links:

Be safe around water

If you happen to be around water, act responsibly and take all the basic safety precautions.

Be aware that swimming in a river, lake, or the ocean is different from swimming in a pool. You need more energy to handle the currents and other changing conditions, and nobody can anticipate other hidden dangers.

Pay attention to any warning signs or safety flags posted in the area - they are put there for a reason.

Never swim in a disused quarry – it may look inviting but the water is very cold and often filled with hidden obstacles.

You can find out more about water safety at these links:

Having a barbecue

When having a barbecue:

  • remember, alcohol consumption increases the risk of accidents
  • the barbecue site should be flat and placed away from fences, trees, shrubs and sheds
  • keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby in case of emergencies
  • never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue – use firelighters or starter fuel on cold coals
  • keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area
  • never leave a barbecue unattended
  • concentrate on what you're doing - it’s easy to get distracted when you have family and friends around
  • after cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it
  • even when you have finished cooking your barbecue it should remain outside, as it will still give off fumes for some time after use
  • make sure ashes are cold before disposal


If you have a gas barbecue:

  • make sure your barbeque is in good working order
  • make sure the gas tap is turned off before changing the cylinder and always disconnect the cylinder in open air 
  • when you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before you turn off the barbeque controls – this makes sure any gas in the pipework will be exhausted

You should also never bring a barbecue into a caravan or tent.

Don’t let your summer be ruined by fire or tragedy.

More useful links

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