The London Fire Brigade has already attended six times as many large grass fires during the current warm weather, than in the whole of 2017 and many of them were avoidable. One of the most common causes of grass fires are barbecues left unattended.
The most common causes of grass fires are carelessly discarded cigarettes and matches, unattended barbecues and glass bottles that have been left on dry grass.
The Fire Brigade’s top tips on preventing grass fires:
- Dispose of smoking materials such as cigarettes and matches safely
- Never leave camp fires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after you have finished using them
- Clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire
- Explain to children the dangers of playing with and lighting fires
If you are having a BBQ at home follow these tips to minimise risk:
- Never use a BBQ – including disposables – indoors or on your balcony. Firefighters were called to 45 barbecues fires on balconies in the last five years, which are an especially dangerous place to put them as smouldering debris spits off the barbecues and floats down to other levels risking a blaze on different floors.
- Be careful where you position your BBQ – it is best on level ground, well away from anything flammable like sheds, fences, trees or tents.
- Don’t use petrol, paraffin or any flammable liquids on your BBQ – firelighters are a much safer option.
- Carefully supervise children
- Keep pets indoors, or at least out of the immediate vicinity of the BBQ.
Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “During the ongoing heatwave it is more important than ever for residents to minimise the risk of fires by following the rules in our parks and green spaces.
“While we want people to enjoy our parks to the full, please remember BBQs are prohibited at all times and I urge people to take extra care to dispose of cigarettes and matches properly and clear away all litter and glass. Please think of the safety of local people and our beautiful green spaces, and avoid any reckless behaviour that might increase the risk of fire in this hot weather.”