Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Outdoor Fire Safety

Follow our fire safety advice to stay safe outdoors;

Countryside Safety

  • Avoid open fires in the countryside. Always have them in safe, designated areas
  • Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle
  • 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 see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately
  • Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as soon as possible
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they could start a fire and endanger lives.



  • Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs
  • Never leave the bonfire burning unattended
  • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side
  • NEVER use flammable liquids - paraffin or petrol - to light the fire
  • Don't burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint and bottles
  • Keep everyone away from the fire - especially children, who must be supervised at all times
  • Pour water on the embers before leaving



  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues. Never use a barbecue indoors
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking

Find more advice here:

Camping and Caravan

  • Fit and regularly test a smoke alarm in your caravan
  • To avoid a build up of poisonous gases make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents
  • Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer
  • Don’t smoke inside tents
  • Never bring a barbeque inside a tent or caravan. They create deadly carbon monoxide gas which will soon fill an enclosed space suffocating all sleeping inside

Fly Tipping

As well as looking and smelling bad and attracting vermin, fly tipping can be used as fuel to start a deliberate fire. We’ve found that if the problem is not dealt with quickly, it can lead to an increase in fly-tipping in the area, increasing the risk of fire resulting in potential loss of life and damage to property and the environment. This puts an unnecessary drain on fiire service resources when we could be attending other emergency calls.

If you see fly tipping, then report this to your local authority. Please use this link to find the relevant council for your location: Report | Fly Tipping

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