Residents warns people to take extra care during Cheshire Burn Awareness Week

A man who was badly burned while using petrol on a fire in his garden, is helping Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to warn others as part of Cheshire Burns Awareness Week (October 14-18).

The incident left the victim with serious burns after vapors from petrol ignited. He suffered second degree burns to his hand and lower arm.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “I’d been cutting trees down in the garden and built a bonfire to get rid of the branches. I was in a bit of hurry so I did what I’d never done before and poured petrol onto the branches, which were furthest away from me, hoping for the fire to get going quicker as it travelled. The fumes ignited around me and there was a huge explosion, which knocked me off my feet. My wife was watering the garden at the time so she used the hose pipe to get water on to my burns. Initially didn’t look that bad but quickly got worst. Having water on them was excruciating painful at first but as the time went on I couldn’t bear for the water not to be on me. My skin was burning.

“I now can’t go out in any sunlight for the next 2 years as its all new skin. If I do I need a very high factor on and I also use moisturizer on my skin both morning and night. I dread to think what I would be like if my wife hadn’t been there and got the water over me when she did. I don’t want anyone else to go through the pain I did that day.”

Steps you can take to reduce the risk of fires and explosions include:

  • Never use petrol to help ignite garden fires.

  • Never smoke while refuelling

  • Lawn mowers and garden tools should always be switched off when refueling

  • Always use the pouring spout and ensure they are inserted correctly.

  • Never refuel near to fires or barbecues

  • Avoid refueling during hot weather – whenever possible fill appliances at the start of the day while the weather is cooler

  • Always wear protective gloves when refueling

  • Never allow children to dispense fuel

  • Ensure that your fuel is stored correctly.

  • Only use approved jerry cans and petrol tanks.

  • Always check carefully that there is no danger before you start the refilling