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Fire Safety

fire kills logo.jpgFire and Rescue Service

The Fire and Rescue Service in Three Rivers is provided by Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Many Fire and Rescue Services offer a free home fire safety visit to people living within their fire station boundaries to help identify potential fire risks and provide advice on what to do to reduce or prevent them. They can also help you develop an escape plan in case the worst does ever happen.

The home fire safety visits are carried out by operational crews, they are completely free and you may be eligible for a free smoke alarm.

You can book a Safe and Well visit with the Fire Service by phoning your local fire and rescue service - details in phone book (not 999), or online at: www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/hfsc.

Vehicle Fires

65% of car fires are started deliberately to cover criminal activity, to make a fraudulent insurance claim or as an act of vandalism.  One in 12 reported stolen vehicles will be set on fire.  Many other vehicle fires break out simply due to lack of basic maintenance and can be prevented. Emphasis should be placed on security of vehicle and safe parking. 

You can report an abandoned vehicle in the district on this website. 

Safety check for vehicles

  • Electrical - check wiring for signs of wear or damage.
  • Petrol - routinely check all fuel lines for signs of wear.
  • Welding - never use heat, naked flames or welding equipment near the fuel tank or fuel lines.

Refuse Skips

  • Place skips at least 10 metres from buildings.
  • Ensure that rubbish is placed in the skip and not left on the ground nearby.
  • Waste packing and pallets should be removed as soon as possible.
  • Full skips should be removed as soon as possible.
  • Do not leave full skips over weekends or holiday periods.
  • Do not block fire exits.
  • Ensure skips are placed in a designated area.
  • Do not store combustible waste within 2 metres of any perimeter fences.
  • Fires in wheelie bins can spread to surrounding property.
  • Do not overfill wheelie bins or place loose rubbish around them.
  • Wheelie bins should only be put out when a collection is due.

Private Bonfires

  • Our advice is to attend an organised bonfire if possible.
    Bonfires should be built at least 18 metres from any buildings, trees, fences etc.
  • They should be no more than 3 metres high for private events and should not be built under overhead cables.
  • Do not use petrol or any other flammable liquid to start a bonfire.
  • Always check inside the bonfire for animals and children who could be using them as a den.

Void Properties

  • Void Properties are a magnet for youths, drug takers and homeless people who often light fires inside to keep warm, often leading to the property catching fire.
  • Ensure that any void property notified to you is secured as soon as possible

Organised Bonfires and Firework Displays

  • Running a display takes a lot of work, so try to share the load by planning ahead.
  • Set up a committee whose members can each take responsibility for a particular task (including one person to be in charge of all safety arrangements).
  • Arrange for fire extinguishers, buckets of water, buckets of sand and metal litter bins to be available on the night.
  • Check that plenty of electric torches will be available on the night, with full batteries.
  • Publicise the fact that spectators are not allowed to bring their own fireworks (including sparklers).
  • Draw up a detailed checklist of tasks and indicate who is to be responsible for each one.
  • Check whether you are adequately insured to cover any firework-related injuries to those present at the display.
  • Fireworks are widely used to mark public and private celebrations, as well as traditional events. While adding enjoyment to such occasions, fireworks can also frighten and disturb people and animals, cause annoyance and damage. For more information on firework safety and rules, please visit www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/firework-information 

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Picking the right location

  • You should choose a large, clear and well mown area free from obstructions, well away from any buildings, trees and hazards like overhead cables, with as many safe entrances and exits as possible.
  • These must be away from the firing area and dropping zone and at least 50m x 20m for your firing area.
  • Beyond this you will need a dropping zone for spent fireworks of 100m x 50m in the downwind direction.
  • Spectators should be kept back on the opposite side to the dropping zone at least 25m from the firing area.

Proper crowd control is essential and needs good planning

  • Arrange for some stewards.
  • Take great care at all times.
  • Plan your display in advance.
  • Do not allow smoking.
  • Before lighting any firework, read the instructions on it carefully (by torchlight).
  • Make sure that the wind blows away from spectators.
  • The display should be angled away from spectators.
  • Never use matches or lighters for lighting fire works at a display.
  • A sudden change of wind could cause aerial fireworks to fall dangerously among spectators.
  • In very windy weather you should consider putting off the display altogether, however disappointing that might be.

Bonfires need planning too

  • Bonfires need a lot of organising.
  • Don't site it too near your display or firework storage area. And don't site it anywhere near fences or trees.
  • Never use flammable liquids like paraffin or petrol to get it going, as this can result in uncontrolled spread of fire or explosion.
  • Check immediately before lighting that there is no animal or a young child hidden inside.
  • Don't burn dangerous rubbish (e.g. aerosols, paint tins or foam filled furniture).
  • Remove any rubbish from your bonfire area in advance so nothing can be thrown onto the fire on the night.

More information about Firework Displays

Fire Safety