Campers and avid caravan users have been leafleted as part of a campaign by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service to raise awareness about outdoor safety.
Particularly in the summer months, when families take to the great outdoors, firefighters would like to see the public taking steps to keep safe.
Campsite owners were asked to warn campers about the dangers of taking barbecues inside tents, which can kill due to the release of poisonous gases in the form of carbon monoxide. Campsite owners across the area were urged to pass on the message to all those who stayed at their sites.
The aim of the campaign was to drive down the number of outdoor fires and to raise awareness amongst campsites and caravan parks about the dangers around the use of BBQs.
Also, to promote the safety message that CO is the silent killer and BBQs can quickly get out of control.
Each station visited their local campsites armed with boxes of safety leaflets which were hand-delivered to campsite owners, along with advice on how to keep their campsite visitors safe.
Community Safety Team Manager Steve Wright said: “It may all sound a bit daunting but it needn’t be; most of this advice is common sense. From time to time we all need reminders; so enjoy the countryside and your recreation and stay safe.”
- Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans and ensure they are away from parked cars to reduce the risk of fire spreading
- Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.
- 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 if 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.
- Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan.
- 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 of poisonous gases.
If you must have an open fire:
- It should be downwind, at least 10m from the tent.
- Clear dry vegetation, leaves, etc, to form a circle of earth around the fire.
- Build a stack that will collapse inwards whilst burning.
- Do not leave fires unattended.
Make sure that fires are fully extinguished after use.
If a fire should breakout:
- Call the fire and rescue service and give the exact location.
- If necessary give a map reference.
- If this is not possible a landmark such as a farm or pub etc, will help them locate you.
Grass and forest fires spread rapidly
- Never throw cigarette ends out of a car window – they could start a fire and ruin surrounding countryside.
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
If you discover a fire:
- Do not be tempted to investigate.
- Leave the area as quickly as possible and call 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service.
- Do not return unless the fire and rescue service tells you that it is safe to do so.