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How to safely burn garden waste

Summer is now here, and you may find that you now have a glut of garden waste, after pruning, weeding, mowing and cutting, to make your garden a safe, clean and enjoyable space for the summer months. Whether you are a gardener by trade, or simply a green-fingered home gardener, a bonfire is a great way of getting rid of garden waste, but there are many safety precautions that you should follow before gathering up all of your garden waste to burn to avoid a work accident or an injury at home.

Check your local council’s regulations

Most local councils have their very own policy on burning garden waste, so to avoid an accident claim or a complaint, you should ensure that you contact your local authority first. They may have strict time frames on when you can burn waste and these rules should always be abided by.

Wait for a calm day

You should always burn waste on calm days. If you decide to burn garden waste on a windy day, this could put your wellbeing, as well as your neighbours’ or colleagues’ health at risk of an accident at work or at home. Wind can cause smoke to travel, meaning there is more risk of a work injury caused by smoke inhalation or intake of fumes. Not only that, but wind causes fire to grow, and on a windy day, the fire could begin to get out of control, which could cause devastating injuries at work or in the household. Wait for a calm and cool day before burning your garden waste and the risk of a burn injury or worse is minimised instantly.

Start small

Never pile on the garden waste and simply just set fire to it. Burning garden waste should be a controlled exercise. Pile the waste in a small, neat pile and begin that way. A large, unruly fire is difficult to tame, so starting small will leave the fire manageable and safe for everyone around it.

Have you had an accident in the workplace due to burning waste?

If you have recently had an accident whilst at work due to the burning of waste and it wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to claim accident compensation with Accident Advice Helpline.