Having a bonfire? Let the fire service know
2:26pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
With fire crews being called out unnecessarily to respond to fires which are under control, such as bonfires, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) are asking people to get in touch and let them know.
A spokesman for the service said that unaware that gorse, heathland or a bonfire has been deliberately lit and is under control, Fire Control act on 999 calls, sending firefighters to the scene. On arrival however, the crews find their services are not needed.
Since January this year, Cornwall’s crews have attended almost 200 incidents where the fire was under control. As a result, CFRS is reminding residents of the importance of notifying them as part of preparations for a planned (or controlled) burn.
“We would always encourage members of the public to call 999 if they suspect a fire - if you see a fire in the countryside, report it,” said Group Manager Mark Blatchford from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. “Our appeal is to those who are planning a controlled burn – all it takes is a phone call.
“By sending crews unnecessarily to the scene of controlled burning, we are potentially taking resources away from an emergency.
“Once we are aware of a controlled burn, our highly trained 999 control room operators can judge how best to respond to an emergency call.” With a controlled burn, it is illegal to leave the fire unattended or to have too few people to control it. Always ensure a fire is completely out before you leave it and check next day to ensure it has not reignited.
- Top tips for planning a controlled burn:
- Inform Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service on 01872 320205 and give your location and expected time of burning.
- Locate the bonfire in an open area, away from any buildings, sheds or fences.
- Check the weather conditions, looking specifically at the direction and speed of the wind.
- Ensure before lighting the bonfire that no highly flammable materials will be involved such as gas canisters, paint tins, any form of chemicals and aerosols or plastics.
- Do not leave your bonfire unattended.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose near by for emergencies.
- Ensure that the remaining embers are fully extinguished before leaving alone.