Protect our countryside from accidental fires on days out

We are being asked to protect the countryside from fire as Lockdown eases.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) is urging those looking to celebrate outside once the ‘rule of six’ comes in on 29th March to be aware of fire safety as part of its Safer Spring campaign. With socialising restricted to outdoor settings, it’s likely that many will be making daytrips out to the wonderful countryside locations around East Sussex and Brighton and Hove to enjoy picnics and BBQs with friends and family.

Following reports of forest fires starting earlier than normal this year, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service wants to raise awareness of the dangers of fires from BBQs, campfires and cigarettes.

David Kemp, Head of Community Safety, said: “Even a small barbecue or open fire can get out of control if not set up or looked after properly. You should always keep them well away from bushes or buildings and ensure young children and ball games are at a safe distance. Make sure you keep any spare charcoal somewhere safe, and only use recommended fluids or firelighters. Make sure your BBQ or fire is completely out and cold once you have finished with it by dowsing it with water.

“Always extinguish cigarettes properly and never throw lit cigarettes out of car windows as they can ruin whole fields of crops and start forest fires.”

If a fire breaks out:

Call 999 immediately.

It can be hard to give the location for an open area so mention any landmarks, such as a public house or a church in the vicinity. Alternatively, you can identify your location using the What3Words app.

Don’t tackle fires yourself. Always leave it to the professionals.

For more information on fire safety, see https://www.esfrs.org/