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Does the Risk of Fire Increase in the Summer? 

Posted in Fire Safety on 5 May 2021

From family BBQs and picnics to outdoor corporate events, it seems that outside is the place to be when the weather is fine. Enjoying the sunshine safely and responsibly, however, should always be top of your priority list. In this article, we’ll explore the top causes of summer fires and how to prevent them. 

While indoor fires are not likely to be affected by seasonality, the likelihood of outdoor fires does increase in the summer months. This is triggered by multiple factors, namely the hot, dry atmosphere and the increase in BBQs, outdoor cooking, camping and other outdoor activities. 

Causes of Fire in Summer

  • Grass and heathlands: Thousands of fires across the UK each year begin on grass or heathland. The combination of dry foliage with hot summer temperatures can spark a fire, along with carelessness from the general public. All it takes is one discarded cigarette or piece of litter to spark a fire, while other more obvious sources, such as camp fires, are also culprits. If not contained, then this fire can be a danger to wildlife and property. 
  • BBQs: Summer is BBQ season, but if a BBQ or other outdoor cooking receptacle is not set up in a sensible stable place or is knocked over, then this can cause a fire incident.  
  • Fire pits or heaters: Fire pits and outdoor heaters create a beautiful ambience for an outdoor event in summer but can be a source of fire risk, especially if fire safety measures have not been put in place to respond quickly to a fire event.  

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How to Prevent Fires in Summer

  • Be careful in the countryside: If walking or picnicking in nature, be sure not to drop any matches, cigarettes or litter on the ground as they can act as a fuel or ignition source of a fire. If camping, any open fires should be made responsibly and never left unattended. Ensure they are thoroughly doused before moving away from a campsite. And did you know? Abandoned glass bottles can reflect the sun’s rays onto a dry, flammable surface or fuel source and potentially lead to a fire outbreak. Make sure not to leave them behind.
  • Responsible BBQing: Ensure that a BBQ is set up away from bushes or other foliage, and on firm, flat ground to keep it stable. Make sure that children and pets are kept away from a BBQ and also that it is never unmanned. Always have a bucket of water, or even better, a fire extinguisher on standby in case of fire incidents. 
  • Make your outdoor event fire-safe: If you’re holding an outdoor event for family, colleagues or your business this summer, chances are that heaters, fire pits or BBQs will be a feature. To make sure everyone enjoys sociability in the sunshine, ensure you have a few safety measures in place and conduct a fire risk assessment if necessary. Firstly, check the quality, safety and stability of all sources of fire. Secondly, encourage guests not to litter, and ensure that someone is responsible for clearing away any that was left behind as quickly as possible. Finally, make sure that the appropriate fire extinguishers are on standby to tackle a fire if it should break out – a fire safety expert, such as Fire Action, will be able to help you select an extinguisher that is appropriate for your circumstances.  

Here at Fire Action, we keep businesses safe and protected, 24/7. We supply and install a wide range of fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, for commercial clients across Kent and beyond. Discuss your needs with our experts today – we’re always happy to help. 

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