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Firefighters issue safety warning after numerous garden and grass fires in Havering during summer heatwave

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 July 2018

Firefighters ask residents to take extra precautions during the summer heatwave. Photo: Ken Mears.

Firefighters ask residents to take extra precautions during the summer heatwave. Photo: Ken Mears.

Archant

Firefighters who have responded to a number of garden fires and grass fires in the borough are asking residents to take extra precautions during the summer heatwave.

On Monday, July 2 firefighters were called to reports of a fire near Squirrels Heath Lane in Harold Wood where a shed in a man’s garden had caught alight.

“The cause of the fire is undetermined, but [the heat] certainly played a part in how the fire spread,” said one of the firefighters who responded to the incident.

“The shed was up against the man’s house and the fire started to encroach on the house.

“Thankfully there was minimal damage to the house.”

On the same day LFB responded to reports of another fire in a residential property near Mawney Road in Romford and on Sunday, July 1, two fire engines and 10 firefighters were called to a fire in Lingfield Avenue.

The cause of the Lingfield Avenue fire has yet to be determined, but it is believed to have started in the garden, spreading on the decking and eventually creeping ip into the loft.

Firefighters from Romford Fire Station were called to reports of a garden fire in Brook Street, Brentwood on Monday, July 2 where a woman intentionally set fire to her garden compost.

A firefighter at Romford station said: “We want to remind people not to have garden rubbish fires whilst it’s so warm and that people need to be extra vigilant.

“The lady had done her gardening and had decided to set fire to it, and it just immediately got out of control.”

Last year LFB was called to 2,430 grass fires, with 902 occurring in the summer months, from June to August.

During hot and dry weather, grass fires are more likely to occur due to cigarettes being discarded without being properly extinguished.

Dan Daly, assistant commissioner for Fire Safety, said: “We want people to have fun in the sun, but there are simple precautions Londoners should take to stay safe during a heatwave.

“Grass fires might not be what you associate with a fire risk in London, but we are called to a surprising amount every summer. If you smoke, make sure you fully extinguish cigarettes before you discard them as they could cause fires if they come into contact with dry grass and cause significant damage.

“Barbecues are also a very common cause of fires, especially when Londoners try and have them on balconies, which you should never do. Make sure you know the basics of barbecuing safely; light it well away from anything that could catch fire, keep an eye on it at all times and never use a barbecue indoors.”

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