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How to keep an outdoor fire under control

Whether you are preparing to burn garden rubbish as part of your summer gardening routine, or are busy setting up a celebration bonfire, it is vital to prevent injuries by fire and damage to your property. You can do this by keeping an outdoor fire under control at all times. Here are a few tips on keeping an outdoor fire under control.

Stay in control of your outdoor fire

Begin by selecting a sheltered area, well out of the wind, to prevent your fire from spreading. Make sure to:

  • Never build a fire underneath trees.
  • Have kindling and wood handy before lighting matches.
  • Start the fire small and, as fire climbs, gradually build it up by adding dead dry wood above the flames.
  • Not build the fire up too much; keeping a large outdoor fire under control is much harder than doing so with a small one.
  • Have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher readily at hand, in case things go wrong.
  • Never leave the fire unattended.

Always ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving it by:

  • Breaking it up and spreading burning embers and coal with sticks.
  • Pouring water over it.
  • Repeatedly stirring and pouring more water over it, until all sparks are out and coal is cold enough to touch.

Finally, make sure you prevent slips, trips and falls by clearing away any larger remnants of the fire. Make sure pathways and indoor flooring are kept dry and clear of hazards likely to cause slip and trip injuries.

Attending public bonfires

When attending public bonfires, mind your step and, if necessary, report any slip, trip or fall hazards to relevant authorities. Follow instructions and directions as provided by attending personnel and keep clear of the fire to prevent being injured by fire.

Outdoor fire incidents

If you suffered an injury by fire or by a trip, slip or fall and someone else was responsible for your accidental injury, you may qualify to make a personal injury claim against the responsible individual or group of people.

How to claim

You can initiate a public liability claim by getting in touch with us, Accident Advice Helpline, via our website, or 0800 689 5659. from a landline. Both lines are open 24/7, confidential and obligation-free. All claims are handled by in-house solicitors operating under conditional fee agreements.