A long hot summer is what every one hopes for, however, like many changes in activity, it can bring risks with it.

If you are intending to make ready your caravan, dust off your tent, or sort out your rucksack, you should go armed with some safety advice before heading for the great outdoors.

Tents

  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll.
  • Don’t smoke nor use grills inside tents.

Caravans

  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan – optical alarms are usually most effective.
  • Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended.
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed.
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn or topple over –never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t dry clothes over the stove.
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build up of poisonous gases.

Open Fires

  • If you must have an open fire: It should be downwind, at least 10m from the tent.
  • Clear dry vegetation, leaves, etc, to form a circle of earth around the fire.
  • Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning.
  • Do not leave fires unattended.
  • Make sure that fires are fully extinguished after use.

If a fire should breakout:

  • Call the fire and rescue service and give the exact location.
  • If necessary give a map reference.
  • If this is not possible a landmark such as a farm or pub etc, will help us to locate you.
  • Grass and forest fires spread rapidly
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car window – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands.
  • Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire.
  • Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
  • If you discover a fire:  Do not be tempted to investigate.
  • Leave the area as quickly as possible and ring for the fire and rescue service.
  • Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so.

It may all sound a bit daunting but it needn’t be, most of this advice is common sense.

From time to time we all need reminders so enjoy the countryside and your recreation and be safe.

For more info visit: www.direct.gov.uk/firekills or call us on 0800 917 8137.