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KFRS urges: be safe in the great outdoors

A tent lit up at night: fires in tents or caravans can spread very quickly
A tent lit up at night: fires in tents or caravans can spread very quickly
Fires in tents and caravans can spread rapidly

If you are heading off for a relaxing weekend in your tent or caravan this summer, Kent Fire and Rescue Services (KFRS) is suggesting some simple guidelines to keep your trip safe.

KFRS Head of Community Safety, Stuart Skilton, said: "Holidays should be an enjoyable time for all the family but some outdoor activities, such as camping, can bring risks. Fires in tents and caravans can spread very quickly, prevention is the key. A fire can destroy a tent in less than 60 seconds so avoid using naked flames inside your tent."

He continued: "We all hope for a long hot summer but every year fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. Follow our simple safety advice and hopefully your trip will go smoothly and be trouble free".


  • Ensure tents and caravans are at least six metres apart and away from parked cars, to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Keep a torch handy for emergencies - never use lighted candles
  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls and never cook inside a small tent or near flammable materials or long grass; they can all set alight easily
  • Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent it there's a fire
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that's on fire - stop, drop and roll
  • Don't smoke inside tents
  • Make sure you know the campsite's fire safety arrangements and check where the nearest telephone is


  • Fit and test a smoke alarm inside your caravan - optical alarms are usually most effective
  • Take special care when cooking - don't leave pans unattended
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can't burn or topple over - never smoke in bed
  • Don't dry clothes over the stove
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build up poisonous gases

KFRS is also urging people to be responsible in the great outdoors by disposing of rubbish responsibly (in bins or by taking it home) and not lighting open fires. Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows - as well as littering and subject to a fine, they could start a fire and destroy surrounding countryside and wildlife habitats.

Stuart Skilton added: "It may all sound a bit daunting but it needn't be most of this advice is common sense. If you do discover a fire, do not be tempted to investigate but leave the area as quickly as possible and call 999. Give the exact location or a map reference but if this is not possible a landmark such as a farm or pub etc., will help us to locate you. "From time to time we all need reminders so enjoy the countryside and your recreation and be safe."

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