West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is sharing an urgent fire safety warning this week amid rising temperatures that will see the risk of wildfires soar.
With temperatures forecast to reach highs of 30 degrees celsius, coupled with the long spell of recent dry weather, residents and those visiting the county must take extra care to avoid accidentally starting a wildfire.
Temperatures are forecast to remain high throughout the week, and climbing higher over the weekend.
The service has issued some helpful advice to prevent a fire this summer:
Leave disposable barbecues to cool for several hours and cover them in water before putting them in the bin.
Dispose of cigarettes responsibly and ensure they are fully extinguished.
Keep barbecues well away from sheds, trees or shrubs and keep them on a flat surface.
Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
Keep glass (such as bottles) and mirrors away from sunlight – including objects in the view of windows.
Don’t burn garden waste or start fires unnecessarily (including campfires) – they can get out of hand very quickly as a result of the dry conditions.
Matt Gamblen, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Wildfire Tactical Adviser said: “During my career I have seen many wildfires and they completely destroy anything in its path – whether that be the countryside, properties or life. They can take days to extinguish.
“During this extreme heat we are seeing, it really doesn’t take much to accidentally start a fire – an ember on dry ground, or a shard of glass in the sunlight is enough to cause a large blaze.
“Wildfires have significant and prolonged impacts on communities. However, they can easily be prevented by taking litter home and ensuring that any smouldering materials are completely extinguished before being disposed of.”
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service recently launched a campaign – Has It BIN Long Enough? – to encourage people to dispose of barbecues responsibly. More barbecue fire safety tips can be found on our website.