Garden and outdoor fires are ‘a cause for concern’


    Business, home and landowners alike are being warned not to burn general or garden waste by lighting fires in their gardens or on their land during the Coronavirus lock down period.

    With the lock down continuing, another weekend coming up and two more Bank Holiday weekends in May, there is an increased risk in garden and wildfires and some councils have seen a rise in complaints about residents burning rubbish in gardens.   It’s thought this ​may be due to the temporary closure of local household waste recycling centres and the suspension of garden waste collections in some areas, following government social distancing measures

    According to the Fire & Rescue Services, calls to this type of fire are rising daily and the number of such incidents is already well above average for this period.  These fires relate to either controlled burnings, which may have caused a nuisance or concern or fires that may have been started intentionally but then got out of hand and needed to be extinguished by firefighters.

    Garden fires are a nuisance to neighbours trying to enjoy their garden and ventilate their homes, particularly during this period of confinement and although here are not any specific laws against having a bonfire in your garden, there are several laws that deal with the nuisance that fires and bonfires can cause.  You cannot get rid of household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people’s health and you can also be fined if you light a fire and allow the smoke to drift across the road and become a danger to traffic.  More information on this is available here:

    For businesses, the burning of commercial waste can be an offence unless carried out under an Environmental Permit or formal exemption.

    Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council said: “It is really important that we all take proactive and responsible steps to reduce the likelihood of open fires escalating dangerously to a point where fire service response is needed. We are also asking people to take litter home with them when out for a walk and to discard cigarettes safely to prevent wildfires starting.  These steps will support fire and rescue services in maintaining effective response and resilience activities during these challenging and unprecedented times.

    “I understand that with people spending more time at home, it is an ideal time to carry out a spring clean or tend to the garden. However, outdoor fires can quickly get out of hand, please be responsible and do not burn general waste at the current time. Do not leave bagged waste and rubbish out on the street as these can be a target for arsonists.

    “Fire services have committed to providing support to other emergency services during this pandemic. Bringing down the number of preventable fires will mean that fire services ​have more capacity to support the most vulnerable in their communities, while ensuring they maintain their emergency response.”

    It’s important to remember that all fires can easily get out of hand very quickly, especially grass fires, which can travel very quickly and change direction without warning.  Fire Depot stocks fire beaters and a range of Wildfire and other fire fighting equipment.  As the UK's favourite fire safety supplier for over 50 years, we know the fire protection and prevention business inside out. Our experienced team can offer advice and guidance about any product or fire safety application. For expert help and advice, please contact the Fire Depot team on 0330 999 2233, email us at or visit to see our full range of fire safety products.


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