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Fire safety campaign launched

Fire safety campaign launched

Sunday 30 April 2023

Fire safety campaign launched

Sunday 30 April 2023

A new campaign encouraging us all to #befiresmart this summer has launched.

Collectively, the States Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Service and Guernsey Fire and Rescue Service are pushing out three key messages to remind everyone how to keep themselves and others safe.

'Think before you burn, think before you bin, think before you throw' - are those key messages.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Le Page said everyone needs to be fire conscious.

“Last year the public were very conscious to follow our advice following our plea for a voluntary fire ban, and we saw a reduction in the number of serious fires we had to attend, however this year we wanted to get ahead and put fire safety into people’s minds before the weather heats up."


Pictured: Fires last summer kept firefighters busy.

Mr Le Page continued: “We’d like people to think before they light a bonfire, which could smoulder underground for over a day after the fire has been put out. We’d like people to think before throwing a hot disposable barbeque in a plastic litter bin. And we’d like people to think before they flick a cigarette butt into a dry hedge row. If as a community, we can come together and keep these things in our minds, we can avoid fires starting which can easily get out of control. We want people to be able to enjoy the summer, but we also want people to keep our islands safe.”

Last year's hot and dry summer saw a number of wildfires which grew out of control. 

This led to Chief Fire Officer Le Page asking the islands to follow a voluntary fire ban and a voluntary ban on beach barbeques, which helped to bring the number of fires back down.

Continuing that, this year's #befiresmart campaign will focus on three areas:

  • Beach barbeques and their proper disposal
  • Avoiding burning garden waste in a bonfire during hot and dry weather
  • Discouraging littering items which could start fires, such as cigarettes and glass bottles – an act which is illegal in and of itself

Emily Coule, Natural Environment Officer, ACLMS, said these efforts should help prevent a repeat of last year's wildfires. 

“We enjoyed excellent weather last summer, but the long periods of dry sunny weather can also present a significant risk if we don’t act responsibly when it comes to fire. It just takes one of us to light a bonfire in a bone-dry field or to throw a glass bottle into a hedge on a cliff path for a fire to start, and if they are not caught quickly, they can cause damage that affects our environment for years.

“We are fortunate to have a very responsive Fire Service in Guernsey, but it only takes one incident that is called in late for something to get out of control. We’d encourage everyone to keep this on their mind and to help protect our beautiful Bailiwick.”

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