Shropshire Summer Fire Safety Campaign

A major fire safety campaign is being launched by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service to reduce injuries from accidental fires that traditionally increase during the summer.

Firefighters and community fire safety officers are giving advice on fire prevention over the next few weeks at county markets, shows, carnivals and festivals in July and August.

“Traditionally there has been a trend in Shropshire for an increase in accidental fires during the children’s school holidays,” said Sam Hamer, a member of the brigade’s community fire safety team.

The seven week campaign will be launched on Monday (July 21) with the help of catering students from Telford College of Arts and Technology who are lending their voice to the countywide public awareness campaign.

Safety is the key ingredient to preventing fires, said Sam, who praised the support of students on Telford College’s newly introduced catering course.

Throughout the campaign, firefighters and fire and rescue service personnel will be handing out leaflets and talking about fire safety.

They will be at Bishops Castle Gumbo festival on July 24; Church Stretton arts festival July 26; Oswestry Show and Clun carnival August 2; Craven Arms play day August 4; Burwarton Show August 7; Shrewsbury flower show August 8 and 9; Shrewsbury folk festival 22, 23 and 24; Bridgnorth food fair and Onlow steam rally August 24.

A display about barbecue safety will be at The Wrekin Retail Park in Telford on August 5.

Shoppers attending market days in Ludlow, Market Drayton, and Oswestry will also receive the fire safety information.

But it is not just house fires that cause death and injuries. Barbecues are a potential for danger with people injured and killed due to the use of petrol or other dangerous combustibles.

The summer fire safety campaigns runs from July 21 to August 29.

During the summer months having a barbecue can be pleasurable. But it's all too easy to be distracted when you have friends and family around you whilst cooking.

Follow the safety tips below to avoid injuries or damage to your property.

  • follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues
  • make sure your barbecue is standing on a flat surface and away from fences, trees and sheds
  • only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue
  • remember to light your charcoal an hour before you commence cooking
  • lighter fuels must only be applied before lighting
  • never use petrol or paraffin to start, or re-ignite your barbecue
  • use only barbecue fire lighters or starter fuel on cold coals
  • be careful with fatty foods and never poor oil onto meat when it is cooking
  • if you’re the chef try not to drink too much alcohol whilst cooking
  • keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby
  • keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area
  • don’t leave the barbecue unattended
  • never use a barbecue indoors or in an enclosed space - a warm, smouldering barbecue gives of plenty of poisonous carbon monoxide - if used indoors or an enclosed space carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous levels very quickly
  • after you have finished cooking, extinguish the burning coals – leave for a period of time and then check that the fire is completely out
  • make sure the barbecue is cool before trying to move it
  • never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin - they could melt the plastic and cause a fire

Additional tips for gas barbecues:

  • make sure your barbecue is in good working order
  • make sure the tap is off before changing the gas cylinder and do it in the open air
  • when you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before you turn off the barbecue controls – this way any residual gas in the pipes will be used up
  • don’t over-tighten joints
  • read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to check for leaks in the cylinder or pipework
  • don’t keep more cylinders than you need
  • gas cylinders should be kept outside, away from direct sunlight and frost

Section:

Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

Read More from Pete White