Figures released by London Fire Brigade show there has been a 7.4 per cent increase in outdoor fires in the last four weeks compared to the same period last year. Crews have attended 844 outdoor fires during those weeks, compared with 786 in 2019. The largest number of outdoor fires occurred in the second and third week of lockdown, which coincided with the warmer weather.
The Brigade’s Deputy Commissioner and Director of Operational Delivery and Assurance, Richard Mills, said, “Our call records indicate that the increase in outdoor fires was in bonfire-related activity which suggests people are burning garden and household waste. This is likely to be because with more time at home there has been more spring cleaning and those with gardens have had the first opportunity of the year to get outside and tidy up. Changes to bin collections in some boroughs and with many waste and recycling centres shut, it’s looking like more people are taking to burning their excess rubbish. We would urge people to consider if their bonfire is necessary and to take care if they are burning waste at home. Always check your local authority’s advice on bonfires and follow our safety tips such as never using paraffin or petrol, building your bonfire clear of buildings, sheds and fences and never leaving your bonfire unattended.”
If you are having a bonfire at home, be mindful of your neighbours and consider that smoke could cause difficulties and be dangerous for people with respiratory problems such as COPD, asthma or COVID-19.
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