Summer Safety

The sunshine is great for people getting out and about, but please take care when you are out in the countryside.

Stay fire-aware

In the UK, fire statistics show that on average 74,000 fires are started on grass and heath land every year. So it's important to stay fire-aware when out and about in the sun.

Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property, and some simple steps, from taking care with your barbeque, to disposing of cigarettes and matches responsibly, can help ensure you can enjoy yourself in safety - a few moment's thought could save lives and land.

Advice to stay safe

By following the Fire and Rescue Service's common sense advice you can ensure people and the countryside stays safe from the effects of fire:


  • Be careful not to drop a match or smouldering cigarette in the countryside at any time of year.  Dispose of cigarettes and matches carefully and responsibly

Open Fires

When camping in the countryside, if you must have an open fire:

  • Camp fires should be set downwind

  • Do not leave fires unattended

  • Make sure that fires are fully extinguished after use

Grass and forest fires spread rapidly

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car window - they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside

  • Don't leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin


  • Take care to follow any local rules about using barbecues in the countryside.

  • Never leave a barbecue unattended

  • Take great care when disposing of the ashes

  • Always keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies

If a fire should breakout:

  • Call the fire and rescue service and give the exact location

  • If necessary give a map reference. If this is not possible a landmark such as a farm or pub etc, will help us to locate you

If you discover a fire:

  • Do not be tempted to investigate

  • Leave the area as quickly as possible and ring for the fire and rescue service

  • Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so

Links to more information

Last updated: Friday 26 July 2013