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Chiminea safety warning after Lea garden fire

Posted on - 21st May, 2018 - 4:53pm | Author - | Posted in - Lea, Preston News
The safe lighting of a chiminea
The safe lighting of a chiminea

Homeowners enjoying the sunshine in their gardens have been issued with a warning after a chiminea fire.Homeowners enjoying the sunshine in their gardens have been issued with a warning after a chiminea fire.

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The incident on Sunday (20 May) afternoon saw a man try to re-light a garden chiminea with petrol.

He was taken to hospital with minor injuries following the fire in Leadale, off Nelson Drive in Lea.

Although the fire was out the heat from the cast iron of the chiminea caused the petrol to ignite.

Head of service development for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “It’s understandable that people can’t wait to get outside, light the barbecue and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends and we know how tempting it can be to give stubborn coals or dying fires a helping hand, but please be patient and make sure you use the right tools for the job.

“There have been numerous occasions where people have used petrol and other flammable liquids in an effort to get things moving quicker and the reaction has, not surprisingly, been violent and dangerous and in some instances resulted in severe injuries.

“Chimineas on the whole are very safe as they enclose the majority of the flame, however people need to realise that the heat and flames from burning wood can still be dangerous if they are used incorrectly.”

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How to stay safe with a chiminea

Have a safe set up – avoid placing your chiminea on decking or near trees and structures. Ensure also that it is stable and secure on its stand so as to minimise the risk of it toppling over.

Never use chemicals such as petrol to start your fire, instead use kindling to create small fire and then slowly add the larger wood.

Ensure your chiminea has a fire guard, if it did not come with one, you can easily make one yourself using mesh wire. The guard will then prevent any hot embers escaping and possibly burning someone.

They’re too hot to handle – so make sure children are properly supervised and warn your guests of the dangers too.

Build small fires – chimineas are designed for small fires, not big ones, so if you see flames coming out of the chimney or mouth it is too big.

Protect your chiminea – depending on the style of your chiminea the weather can have an adverse effect on it and may cause it to crack or break; so consider covering or storing your chiminea during the winter months.

Watch it burn – never leave a fire unattended, whether it is a barbecue or in a chiminea

Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue or fire and keep a bucket of water, sand or garden hose nearby just in case.

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