South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue - Working For a Safer South Yorkshire

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Staying safe outdoors



Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness and a few simple precautions can prevent them.

Follow these tips to reduce the risks of wildfires in the countryside:

• Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly
• Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they can ruin whole fields of crops
• Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands – sunlight shining through glass can start fires; take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin

Wheelie Bins

Did you know that every year in South Yorkshire alone there are more than 1,000 wheelie bin fires? Most are started deliberately, and they often threaten life and property. Please don’t let your wheelie bin be next! To reduce the risk of arson attacks on wheelie bins, we advise that you:

• Don’t store wheelie bins in close proximity to a building
• Don’t put wheelie bins out for emptying until the refuse collectors are due
• Don’t overfill your wheelie bin, or leave loose rubbish round it
• Store wheelie bins safely and securely, wherever possible, limiting the opportunity for arson


Fire safety shouldn’t stop when you leave your home. Carelessness outdoors can have fatal results and fires can also destroy huge areas of countryside and delicate ecosystems.

To barbecue safely and avoid injuries or damage to property, follow these simple tips:

• Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuel, on cold coals
• Keep children, garden games and pets away from the cooking area
• Never leave the barbecue unattended
• After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before trying to move it; empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into the bin
You can follow these basic precautions while camping to reduce the risk of fire:

Garden Fires and Bonfires

Whether you are holding an organised event or burning your garden rubbish, there are some simple guidelines which should be followed to ensure the safety of you and your property. These can be found on our fireworks and bonfires page.

Fire Safety on Boats

Fires on boats are not as common as fires on land.  The following tips will help you stay safe and avoid the risk of fire afloat:

• Fit and maintain a smoke alarm. Optical alarms are best for boats – think carefully where you fit them so they can wake people up
• Take care to ventilate the cabin to reduce the build up of poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide, and the risk of fumes igniting
• Check and maintain your fuel, gas and electrical systems on your boat regularly

Water Safety

Both water and ice can be dangerous. Whether out at sea or by a river, canal, lake or pond you can enjoy water safely if you understand the dangers and follow some basic rules.

• Obey warning notices. Don't interfere with safety equipment or life buoys or damage warning notices
• Children should never go boating, exploring or fishing near water alone. Always go into the countryside in a group, and always tell your parents where you are going