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KFRS issues country-side fire safety warning

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is warning of the need for rural fire safety throughout the hot summer predicted for the UK this year
KFRS is warning of the need for rural fire safety throughout the summer

UK fire and rescue service warns of rural fire hazards throughout hot summer

With a hot summer predicted, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is urging people to protect the countryside by being extra careful not to start or cause fires through carelessness.

A few days of warm weather can dry out vegetation and grass verges, so crop fields and woodland can easily catch light if people are careless with cigarettes or don't extinguish fires or barbecues properly. This may also affect wildlife and threaten buildings or even human life if a fire spreads rapidly.

Charlie Smith from KFRS's Community Safety team said: "During warmer weather, grass and crop fires can be serious problem for the Service and tie up a huge amount of our valuable firefighting resources. We want to encourage people to take care and think about what they're doing. For example, drivers should refrain from discarding cigarettes through car windows while driving along as this, combined with dry grass verges, can easily lead to fires and threaten people, wildlife and buildings. I would also remind people that throwing cigarettes or any other rubbish from vehicles is regarded as littering and subject to at least a fine."

He added: "Another major problem for us is young people deliberately setting fires so, if you are a parent, we urge you to warn them of the dangers of fire, as well as keeping matches and lighters out of their reach."

By following these important safety tips people can help to prevent fires starting in the first place:

  • Don't discard cigarettes out of car windows as this can set light to grass verges and grassland areas and is illegal
  • Don't light fires in the countryside or drop litter which could be set fire to and again littering is an offence
  • Don't accumulate rubbish which can act as potential fuel for deliberate fire setters
  • Contact your local district or borough council to ask about disposal of unwanted furniture, or to report abandoned vehicles or fly tipped waste (Clean Kent 24 hour reporting line - 0845 345 0201)
  • Extinguish bonfires and barbecues properly
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the way of young people (especially young children) and remind them that they are not toys
  • If you are a parent you are strongly advised not to leave youngsters to wander in the countryside unsupervised, and to ensure they are aware of the dangers of fire

Report any information on fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously if need be) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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