Countryside safety: follow the fire safety code

In the countryside

Follow the countryside fire safety code and help keep our beautiful countryside free from fire

Countryside safety code

A carelessly discarded cigarette in the countryside can lead to a huge fire, where the results to wildlife can be devastating. 

Our simple fire safety tips will help you to stay safe in the countryside and protect it for others to enjoy:  

  • do not discard cigarettes in the countryside; dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished
  • clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire
  • always take extra care if using a barbecue 
  • only light fires or barbecues in designated areas using the facilities provided - if you are visiting the New Forest, view details of New Forest barbecue sites before you go
  • don't leave camp fires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after you have finished using them
  • talk to young people about the dangers of playing with and lighting fires
  • report any information about illegal fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111  

If you see a fire

  • if you do see a fire in the countryside, contact us immediately – dial 999 
  • don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water 
  • give a map reference if possible, otherwise give a landmark such as a farm or pub to help locate the fire 
  • estimate the size of the area that's burning 
  • describe the type of terrain (grass, bracken, forest, open moorland etc) 
  • evacuate the area as soon as possible   

Heathland fire risk information

Fires on any heathland, particularly the New Forest, can pose a serious threat to lives and property, that is why you need to understand the danger and help prevent a disastrous incident. 

To help you do this The Forestry Commission posts current fire risk information on their website. This also contains helpful information to make sure you make the most of your visit, remember to check it out before you go.