Bonfires are very common in the summer, but they can get out of control very easily. If you want to burn off garden waste, here’s some safety advice:
- Site any bonfire well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures.
- Have a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to get out of control.
- Don’t light a bonfire on a windy day, as it could flare up more than you expect.
- Be courteous to your neighbours – if you’re planning a substantial bonfire, let them know, and stay with it at all times to ensure that it remains safe.
- If you’re intending to have a large bonfire, use our on-line form – we often receive emergency calls from people who can see lots of smoke, and it helps us to know where this could be a controlled burn.
- Never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to start a bonfire.
If you have concerns about the environmental impacts of bonfires, such as smoke, you will need to contact your local council:
- Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
- Dorset Council
- Swindon Borough Council
- Wiltshire Council
- Refill garden heaters, petrol mowers etc in the open air and don’t smoke while doing so.
- Deal with any fuel spillage by allowing it to evaporate, soak into the ground, or cover with an absorbent material.
- Take care when lighting garden heaters and never move when lit. Keep away from flammable materials, such as awnings or laundry lines.
- When using candles or flares, make sure they are firmly packed into the ground.
- Keep children and pets away from naked flames and hot lanterns.
- Make sure any candles, flares and lanterns are fully extinguished when you have finished with them.