With many spending their extra time at home in the garden we remind you to be careful and considerate when lighting bonfires and barbecues.
Please consult your neighbours before lighting a bonfire or barbecue, essential workers may need to wash clothes more frequently and smoke can aggravate some medical conditions. Neighbours may also mistake bonfire smoke as being from a property or uncontrolled fire and call the fire brigade.
Rules regarding bonfires.
You must not burn general household waste, but may burn garden waste from your own garden if this is done without causing a nuisance to others.
If there is no alternative to having a bonfire, you must:
- Ensure that smoke does not cause a nuisance to neighbours.
- Ensure that the smoke does not affect highway safety
and you should:
- Avoid burning in hot weather – when neighbours are more likely to need windows open
- Notify neighbours that you will be having a fire
- Ensure that the fire burns quickly, rather than be left to smoulder
- Ensure that green waste has completely dried out prior to burning
- Ensure that the fire is not left unattended, and have a means to extinguish a fire if necessary
- Ensure that the wind direction will take any smoke away from neighbouring properties
Burning of commercial waste
In addition to the law of nuisance, it is an offence to burn commercial waste (including construction and demolition waste), and to produce dark smoke from industrial or trade premises. No bonfires should be lit on commercial premises, except for the burning of ‘green’ landscaping waste cut down at that property.
Fire service safety advice:
- Remember to build your bonfire well clear of buildings, garden sheds, fences, hedges and overhanging branches.
- Keep it to a manageable size and make sure it is evenly built so it collapses inwards as it burns.
- Always have a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby in case of emergency. If the bonfire becomes out of control and catches foliage or property alight, call 999.
- Be sure not to leave bonfires unattended and dampen them down fully once you’re done.
Those enjoying barbecues are also urged to do so safely, keeping cooking well away from fences, foliage and buildings even if there are no flames, because radiated heat alone can cause nearby plants or structures catch fire.
Ashford Borough Council
Kent Fire and Rescue Service