FIRE SAFETY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Every year fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside, open space and wildlife habitat. Sadly, many of these fires are started deliberately but, by following a few simple precautions and showing a little extra care, many others can be prevented:
- dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they’re completely out. Never throw them to the ground or out of vehicle windows
- ideally, never have an open fire in the countryside
- don’t leave camp fires or barbecues unattended, and extinguish them properly after use
- clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to prevent them magnifying the sun’s rays and starting a fire
- explain to children the personal and environmental dangers of playing with fire
- if fire breaks out, call 999 immediately. Be clear about your location, mention any landmarks – perhaps a church or pub – and, if phoning from a phone box, stay nearby so you can direct the fire engines to the scene
- if you can, prepare for the arrival of firefighters at a pre-arranged meeting point by unlocking gates, etc.
- don’t attempt to fight the fire yourself unless it is very small and can be put out with a bucket of water – grass and crop fires can travel very quickly.
The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside – check out the Natural England website