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Fire advice for a safer summer


Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is asking local people to stay safe this summer as they make the most of the weather and enjoy the great outdoors.

Whether you are camping, cooking or exploring this summer, by following some top tips you can enjoy your adventures and stay safe.

The fire and rescue service is particularly keen to get the message out about safe summer campsite BBQs and is urging people to be aware of the hidden dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when using a disposable, gas or charcoal BBQ. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelt or tasted but can cause life-threatening effects, quickly and without warning.

The service would also like to remind people about the dangers of open fires. Open fires that are left unattended or incorrectly built, can lead to fires spreading and potentially harm wildlife and others. Make sure that any open fire has been fully put out if you have to use one and that you only have them in safe designated areas.

Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Summer is an enjoyable time of year for people to get outdoors and socialise with barbeques and explore the countryside.  It is worth remembering though that not everyone enjoys the heat - remember to check on elderly neighbours, family or friends.   Our Country attracts many visitors and it's important we all play our part in keeping people and the countryside safe.  The tips below will help avoid accidents and ensure our countryside is protected during the Summer season.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said, "Some of this advice may seem like common sense, but from time to time we all need reminders.

"We want everyone to have a fantastic time during summer and whilst on holiday. I would strongly encourage you to not take risks this summer and listen to the advice provided by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

"Despite the recent downpour, we all hope to see dryer weather soon and would ask everyone to consider the advice provided."

More top tips for a safe summer include:


  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Never use candles in or near a tent - torches are safer
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent, near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily
  • Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there's a fire
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that's on fire - stop, drop and roll
  • Don't smoke inside tents


  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan
  • Take special care when cooking - don't leave pans unattended
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can't burn or topple over -never smoke in bed
  • Don't dry clothes over the stove
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build up of poisonous gases

BBQ safety

  • Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you have finished cooking your BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use
  • BBQ's need to be lit with the correct lighter fuel and placed in a position where the fire does not spread to wooden fence, sheds or conifers. Never use petrol to light a fire
  • Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm
  • Never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping
  • Place your cooking area well away from your tent. Always ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh air in the area where the BBQ is being used
  • Only use appliances in accordance with the operating instructions
  • Remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning - headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. If concerned, seek medical advice

Open Fires

If you must have an open fire:

  • It should be downwind, at least 10m from the tent
  • Clear dry vegetation, leaves, etc, to form a circle of earth around the fire
  • Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning
  • Do not leave fires unattended
  • Make sure that fires are fully extinguished after use

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 them locate you

Grass and forest fires spread rapidly

  • Never throw cigarette ends out of a 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

If you discover a fire:

  • Do not be tempted to investigate
  • Leave the area as quickly as possible and call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service
  • Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so

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