With the hot weather forecast to continue for the next few days firefighters are reminding people to be aware of the increased risk of outdoor fires.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has seen a rise in the number of grass fires across the county including a blaze at West Beach in Littlehampton on Thursday (July 17th) that spread over 30 metres and involved 3 cars.
Group Manager for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Rob Mapley, said: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy this beautiful weather safely so they just need to be aware of the risks. During prolonged hot spells the ground in some areas becomes tinder dry and it only takes one carelessly discarded cigarette to spark a serious fire that puts the public, properties, wildlife and our firefighters at risk.
“We have had a slow start to the summer so it’s no surprise we are all rushing to fire up those BBQs, but we just want to ensure that people get to enjoy the outdoors safely. Most fire safety is simple common sense, but our crews are still called to fires started from carelessly discarded coals or BBQs that have been lit too close to trees or fences. So please take the time to observe some simple fire safety rules.”
Firefighters are offering the following straightforward advice:
. Extinguish cigarettes carefully and don’t be tempted to throw lit cigarette ends out of car windows
. If you are having a picnic, then clear up afterwards – glass bottles left behind are a particular fire hazard
. Don’t be tempted to light a fire in the countryside and if you are lighting a barbeque in the countryside or on the beach – check beforehand that it is an authorised area
. When using a disposable barbeque make sure the coals are completely cold before throwing them away
. If you are lighting a BBQ or bonfire only used approved lighting fuels, never petrol
. Never leave a bonfire or BBQ unattended and make sure you have fully extinguished them after use
For a full range of fire safety advice visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire or call the Community Fire Safety Team on 01243 642879