West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Issue Bank Holiday Bonfire Warning

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West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Issue Bank Holiday Bonfire Warning


Planning a garden clear up this bank holiday? Then firefighters are reminding you to follow a few bonfire basics to ensure your good intentions don’t end up in a 999 call.

The warning follows a recent rise in the number of calls to West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to extinguish out of control bonfires in people’s gardens or grounds, including one in Crawley where fire crews had to help a lady to safety after a bonfire spread to a hedgerow, a car and smoke-logged her house.

Jackie Boyle, Community Fire Safety Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, advised:

“With the bank holiday coming up many of us will be getting out into our gardens for a bit clear up and may need to dispose of unwanted garden waste. As the safest, most responsible and environmentally friendly way to dispose of garden waste we would recommend, wherever possible, that you take it to your local recycling centre, use a green waste collection service, or even compost it.

“With the recent blustery wind conditions, the risk of a bonfire spreading out of control is increased so if you are going to have a bonfire it’s really important that you take the right precautions to protect yourself, your property and the environment. If a bonfire is not properly controlled there is a real risk that is can spread to fences, sheds, hedges and even people’s homes, putting lives in danger.”

It’s easy to follow the bonfire basics…

. Let your neighbours know you are planning to have a bonfire or they may end up dialling 999.

. Build your bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees.

. Avoid having a bonfire in windy conditions – it increases the likelihood of the fire spreading out of control.

. Don’t build it too big, and make sure it is stable.

. Don’t burn aerosols, tyres, canisters or anything containing foam or paint – they can produce toxic fumes or explode.

. Don’t use petrol or paraffin to get the fire going – it can get out of control quickly.

. Don’t leave your bonfire unattended or leave it smoulder when you have finished – make sure it is fully extinguished.

. If a bonfire does get out of control – don’t risk injury by tackling it yourself – call 999.

For more information on recycling your garden waste log onto www.recyclingforwestsussex.org and for further fire safety advice call the Community Fire Safety team on 01243 642879.

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