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Fire advice for a safer summer

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service 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 are urging people to be aware of the hidden risks of carbon monoxide poisoning when using a disposable, gas or charcoal BBQ.

Carbon monoxide can’t be seen, smelt or tasted but can cause life-threatening affects, quickly and without warning.

Stewart Edgar, Chief Fire Officer for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service said, “Some of this advice is common sense however from time to time we all need reminders. Whilst we do not want to stop anyone having fun on holiday we strongly encourage you to not take risks this summer.”

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said, “If you are planning an amazing summer exploring the county we encourage you to take a look at some safety advice first. It will help make your trip safer and more enjoyable in the long run if accidents can be avoided.”

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

For more information on fire safety, please visit