Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is warning people to be extra careful when using barbecues. The warning comes following an incident that happened earlier this week.
"It is vital not to leave a lit barbecue, even for a few minutes, or to drop a cigarette that hasn’t been fully extinguished – the consequences could be tragic."
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj
Fire and rescue crews from Longton were called to an incident at 9am on Sunday.
The incident involved a BBQ, still smouldering from the evening before and had been left next to a hedge.
The hedge caught fire and spread to the conservatory.
Firefighters used one hose reel jet to extinguish the fire and remained at the scene for an hour damping down.
The incident was closed at 9.53am.
This month is expected to be the warmest July on record since 2006, therefore it is likely that there will be an increase in barbecues and potential fire risks.
It is expected that there will also be an increase in grass fires during the warm weather, which have a major impact on frontline firefighting resources.
While the majority are deliberate, some are caused by seemingly innocent mistakes, such as leaving a barbecue unattended or not properly extinguishing a cigarette
The Service is running a ‘Summer Safety’ campaign in a bid to prevent such incidents.
Posters promoting the initiative have been sent to garden centres, camp sites and community facilities across the area and A6 cards featuring safety advice will be handed out to people at events.
Head of Risk Reduction Glynn Luznyj said: “We are expecting some excellent weather over the next week and we want people to enjoy it – and stay safe at the same time.
“It is vital not to leave a lit barbecue, even for a few minutes, or to drop a cigarette that hasn’t been fully extinguished – the consequences could be tragic. Grass fires spread rapidly and can destroy acres of land as well as tying up vital firefighting resources for hours, days or even weeks.”
The service has put together the following top tips for summer safety:
• Make sure cigarettes are put out properly and never throw them out of car windows – they could start a fire and destroy the countryside
• Never leave a lit barbecue unattended and don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of cooking
• Never take a barbecue into an enclosed space like a tent – the carbon monoxide it gives off could be fatal
• Do not swim in pools, quarries or lakes - underwater currents, debris and cold water temperatures can easily result in difficulties
• Do not deliberately start a grass fire – this is a crime which not only puts the countryside and wildlife in danger, it also poses a serious risk to life
For more information on the ‘Summer Safety’ campaign visit http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/summersafety.asp
Also, follow Staffs Fire on Twitter @staffsfire and Facebook (Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service) for regular updates throughout the summer.