Did you know?
In England an average of 26,500 fires are started on grass, heath and moorland each year. That’s an average of 73 fires a day!
50,000 fires start in rubbish bins and rubbish containers (including rubbish bins and containers) each year.
Fire safety doesn’t stop when you leave your home. This brochure will help you stay safe while enjoying the great outdoors.
security in the country
Avoid open fires on land. Only have them in safe, designated areas.
Properly extinguish cigarettes and other smoking articles before leaving your vehicle and when enjoying the outdoors.
Do not leave bottles or glasses in the forest. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or throw them in a waste or recycling bin.
If you see a fire on land, report it immediately.
Do not attempt to fight fires that cannot be put out with a bucket of water – evacuate the area as soon as possible.
Never throw cigarette butts out of car windows – they could start a fire and ruin the surrounding landscape.
The Countryside Code contains additional guidance.
See Natural England for more information.
Have a bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose ready for emergencies.
Follow the safety instructions that came with your gas, charcoal, or disposable grill.
Never use a grill indoors, in a tent, under an awning or in a caravan.
Use enough charcoal to cover the bottom of the grill, but no more (usually about 5cm or 2 inches).
Keep children, pets and yard games away from the cooking area.
After grilling, make sure the grill has cooled down before moving it.
Dump the ashes on bare garden soil, not in dustbins or dustbins. When hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
Make sure your grill is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or yard debris.
In the country or in public parks, use disposable barbecues only where there are designated areas and carefully follow safety instructions.
Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you’re in charge of the grilling.
Never use gasoline or paraffin to start or revive your grill; Use only approved lighters or starting fuel for cold coals.
Never store gas cylinders under the stairs – in the event of a fire, they could explode and block your escape route.
Store gas cylinders outdoors, away from direct sunlight and frost.
Be careful when turning on and off bottled gas grills.
Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
After cooking, first turn off the gas supply and then the grill controls. This will prevent gas from escaping.
If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing all the joints with soapy water, looking for bubbles.
Make sure all connections are tight and secure.
Change gas cylinders outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
Safety when camping and caravanning
Ensure caravans and tents are at least six meters apart and away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
Keep a flashlight handy for emergencies – never use lit candles.
Find out about the campsite’s fire safety precautions and where the nearest phone is.
Use of gas cylinders
Do not use gasoline or kerosene to light a solid fuel stove.
Keep flammable liquids (such as petrol and gas bottles) outdoors and away from children.
Only change gas bottles when they are completely empty and store them away from caravans and vehicles.
Make sure the gas line connection is secure. If you suspect a leak, turn off the main cylinder valve.
Never smoke while switching your gas.
What to do when it burns
Keep calm and get everyone out as soon as possible.
Call the fire and ambulance services and provide the exact location. If possible, include a map reference or landmark such as a farm or pub.
Stay in a tent
Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
Keep cooking utensils away from the tent walls as they could easily catch fire.
Consider a carbon monoxide alarm.
Never cook in a tent.
Do not cook near flammable materials or tall grass, they can easily ignite.
Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there is a fire.
Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothes on fire – stop, drop and roll.
Do not smoke in tents.
Stay in the caravan
Install and test a smoke detector in your caravan.
Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector.
Be extra careful when cooking – don’t leave the pans unattended.
Turn off all devices before going out or going to bed.
Do not smoke in the caravan. Smoking outside and putting out the cigarettes straight away – that’s safer than smoking in the caravan.
Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that won’t burn – and never smoke in bed.
Do not dry clothes over the stove.
Remove litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
Make sure the caravan is ventilated and never block the ventilation openings to avoid accumulation of toxic gases.
Consider having a fire extinguisher ready at the entrance, but always read the instructions before using it.
To learn more about the Countryside Code, visit Natural England.
For advice tailored specifically to you and your home, do your own fire safety check.