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Summer fire safety guide


Summer is a time for family and friends to gather and create lasting memories. Whether it be a barbecue, garden firepit or a simple candle, many of our summer plans involve fire - so it’s crucial that you know the correct precautions to take. To help you stay safe and enjoy the season to its fullest, we’ve created this handy guide to summer fire safety. 

Disclaimer: Items like barbecues, candles, and firepits should not be used during extreme dry weather. These items can easily spread fire in extreme heat, creating unnecessary risk to you, your loved ones and your home.  


Barbecues are one of the most popular summer pastimes, after all, who doesn’t love a burger? However, they can also be extremely dangerous if the right measures aren’t taken. Thankfully, you can keep your home and loved ones safe with just a few simple steps. 

1. Check your barbeque is in working order

If you’re using a gas barbecue, check that it’s safe before firing it up. If you notice any hoses are showing signs of wear, stiffness or cracking or you have any doubts about the safety of your barbecue, do not use it and call a Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as possible. 

If you suspect there’s a leak to your gas cylinder or pipe work, you can brush soapy water around all the joints. If you spot bubbles forming, you have a leak. Try and tighten the joint in question, but be careful, over tightening can cause cracks to form.

2. Ensure your barbecue is in the right position

The position of your barbeque plays a key role in ensuring your safety. All barbecues should be sited on a flat surface that is positioned far away from any buildings, sheds, trees, and shrubbery. Keeping this distance will ensure the likelihood of a fire is dramatically reduced. 

Bbq 2

3. Keep a source of fire extinguishment close

When cooking on a barbecue you need to be prepared for any situation. It’s a clever idea to keep a fire-stopping resource close. A simple bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose is all that you need - just make sure it's within arm's length. 

Ensuring your grill isn’t crowded can also prevent fires, as meat fats can cause excessive flames and potential burns.


4. Make sure your charcoal is evenly spread

If you’re using a traditional charcoal barbecue, it’s important to ensure your charcoal is evenly distributed around your grill. Your charcoal should also have an approximate depth of l50cm or 2 inches. 


5. Ensure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder

Gas is an extremely dangerous and flammable substance. So, it’s important to ensure the gas tap is turned off before changing your barbecue cylinder. Failure to do so could cause a fire risk and possible gas poisoning. 

Gas Cylinder

6. Change a gas cylinder outside

Barbecue gas cylinders are not only highly flammable but can also be dangerous to our help. If you need to change your gas barbecue cylinder, you should always do so outside. If not properly connected, these cylinders can emit harmful gases that could result in carbon monoxide poisoning.

7. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms, they could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

If you spot any of these signs in yourself or others, turn off your barbecue, ventilate the space, and seek medical attention immediately.


8. Ensure disposable barbecues are disposed of safely

If you’re using a disposable barbecue, make sure it's cold to the touch before responsibly disposing of it. This is important as even slight warmth could conduct a fire if the barbecue encounters a flammable item. 


Firepits, chimineas and outdoor fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular. However, many people still don’t know the correct precautions to take when using them. Here are some handy tips to keep you safe. 

1. Make sure your firepit is positioned correctly

Firepits, chimineas  and outdoor fireplaces should be placed on a flat surface away from flammable elements like decking, trees, sheds and shrubbery. You should also ensure that the structure is stable before lighting your firepit. 


2. Check your local weather forecast

Before setting up your firepit, it’s a smart idea to check your local weather for updates on wind direction and extreme weather. Knowing the wind direction can help you position your firepit safely to prevent the potential risk of flames being carried by the breeze. Meanwhile, knowing if extreme weather is on the way can help you evaluate whether breaking out the firepit is a smart choice. 


3. Keep a source of fire extinguishment close

When relaxing around a fire pit, it’s always a good idea to have a source of fire extinguishment close. As mentioned prior, a bucket of water, sand, or the humble garden hose will do the trick.  


4. Never use chemicals to light your fire

You should never use chemicals to light your fire because they’re difficult to predict and can quickly become unsafe. Instead, use kindling to create a small fire in the centre of your pit, then slowly add larger chunks of wood. 

5. Use the correct wood on your firepit

Never use painted, coated or pressure-treated wood on your firepit, as these can release toxic chemicals into the air. You should only use kiln-dried wood to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous sparks and smoke.


6. Never burn plastic, rubber, or general waste

Never burn the following materials, as they can also release harmful chemicals into the air. Glass bottles and cans should not be burnt as they can burst creating a dangerous environment.

7. Don't leave your firepit unattended

Fire in any form should never be left unattended. So, whether you’re head chef at the barbecue or the firepit stocker, always keep your eye on the fire. 

8. Keep children and pets away from the fire

Children and pets should always be kept away from fire and carefully observed. It’s clever to set up a safe area around the fire pit, where children and guests can enjoy the flames from a safe distance. 

9. Drink responsibly

We understand you want to have an enjoyable time, and for many people, this means a cheeky alcoholic drink. However, alcohol and fire don’t mix! If you’re around an open fire, it’s always advisable to drink responsibly. 



Candle safety is something many of us associate with the winter, as we cosy up in a candlelit room. However, there are some safety points to keep in mind, even if you’re lighting your candles outside.

1. Consider the distance of your candle to other items

As we all know, a candle is burnt by a naked flame, so it’s important to keep that in mind when positioning them outside. Avoid putting your candles anywhere near fences, sheds, trees or shrubbery. You never know when a gust of wind or accident could cause a lit candle to meet a flammable item.  Placing a candle under plants can also cause an issue, as they can heat up the leaves, causing a fire.

Candle 2

2. Check the weather forecast

A strong breeze can cause your candles to blow out, and in extreme cases, cause the flame to spread. This is an extremely dangerous situation, so it’s important to check the weather forecast before breaking out those citronella candles. 


3. Keep children and pets away

As mentioned above, children and pets don’t mix well with fire. Keep babies of both human and furry varieties away from lit candles. 

Child And Dog

4. Use a heat-resistant base

When lighting a candle, a heat-resistant base is vital. Not only will it stop any damage to your furniture, but it will prevent the candle from contacting a flammable surface in the event of an accident. 


As we all know, smoking can easily become a fire hazard if the cigarettes aren’t disposed of properly. However, this hazard is only heightened during extreme heat, as elements like dry grass are much more flammable. To avoid any unnecessary risks, you can follow these guidelines. 

1. Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly

As mentioned above, smoking materials like cigarettes can cause a fire hazard at any time of year. However, they are particularly harmful during summer due to the drying out of environmental elements that could catch fire if they meet an unextinguished cigarette. To avoid this, ensure your smoking materials are completely extinguished and disposed of in a safe space, such as an ashtray.


2. Never leave a lit smoking utensil unattended

When the temperatures are high, it’s particularly important to keep your eye on cigarettes and other smoking materials. A simple flick of ash on a flammable item, like dry grass, could cause a fire risk that could easily be avoided. 


3. Keep children away from matches and cigarettes

We all know that children and fire are not a safe combination, so it's vital that you keep an eye on little ones. Children should always be kept at a safe distance away from matches, cigarettes and open fires.